Federal Government Seeks Summary Judgment In Freedmen Case - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Federal Government Seeks Summary Judgment In Cherokee Freedmen Case

Posted: Updated:
File photo. File photo.

The U.S. Department of the Interior has requested a summary judgment in a long-standing lawsuit over the tribal citizenship eligibility of the Cherokee Freedmen descendants.

In a motion filed late Friday, the department argued the Treaty of 1866, which guarantees "all the rights of native Cherokees" to Cherokee Freedmen and their descendants, extends to tribal citizenship, despite a vote to the contrary by the tribe.

"The Cherokee Nation should be enjoined from denying tribal membership rights to descendants of those individuals listed on the Freedmen portion of the Cherokee Dawes Rolls," wrote acting assistant attorney general Robert Dreher.

About 3,000 Freedmen descendants are currently enrolled in the tribe after a 2007 vote amending the Cherokee constitution restricting Cherokee Nation citizenship to direct descendants of individuals of the Dawes Rolls.

"Interior agrees that Cherokee Nation is a sovereign entity that retains powers of self-government," Dreher wrote.

"These retained powers include, as a general matter, the power to define its own membership. However, tribal authority, including the right to define tribal membership, can be constrained by treaties or other laws. In this case, through Article 9 of the Treaty of 1866, Congress has constrained the nation's authority to determine tribal membership."

Oral arguments are scheduled for April 28 before a Washington D.C. federal judge.

9/20/20122 Related Story: Federal Judge To Hear Plea From Cherokee Nation Freedmen

6/20/2013 Related Story: Cherokee Man Appeals Tulsa Judge's Ruling In Freedmen Case

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Special Features

Community Calendar

Find out what's going on around town and submit events!


See it! Shoot it! Send it! Share your weather pics and videos with NewsOn6.com!

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Mobile Alerts

Get breaking news, headlines, weather alerts & more on your cell phone.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Cold Case

    Join Lori and local homicide detectives as they search for Cold Case clues.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

  • Turnpike Timelines

    View a historical road map of Oklahoma's turnpike system.

Powered by WorldNow
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Oklahoma's Own Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Tulsa's Own and Green Country's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KOTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.