WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today joined tribal leaders at the White House to discuss the judicial record of Neil Gorsuch, the president’s nominee to be an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. They outlined Judge Gorsuch’s strong judicial record on cases pertaining to federal Indian law, including support for tribal sovereignty and religious freedom.
“Neil Gorsuch will be a fair Supreme Court Justice for all of America, including Indian Country,” said Hoeven. “Judge Gorsuch has a strong track record and considerable experience dealing with federal Indian law, having written the opinion on 18 Indian law cases. He has shown respect for Indian religious freedom and tribal sovereignty. Judge Gorsuch is a solid choice for the Supreme Court.”
Judge Gorsuch served on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes six states with significant tribal populations. In paperwork he submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Gorsuch lists Yellowbear v. Lampert as one of the 10 most significant cases over which he has presided. In that case, Gorsuch upheld a Native American prisoner’s right to exercise religious freedom and access the prison sweat lodge.
The following tribal nations and groups were represented at the meeting: Navajo Nation, Chickasaw, Central Council of Tingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Choctaw Nation, Caribou Tribe, Native America Rights Fund and the National Congress of American Indians.