January 22, 2010
Subject: URGENT Emergency Alert- call to action-
To all citizen's of Idaho, our constitutional and civil rights are under attack and we need to respond right now.
Indian Tribes, especially the Coeur d Alene's, have been wanting to be given law enforcement powers over non tribal citizen's for many years. When recent efforts to force the Sheriffs, to be mandated by the state government, to cross deputize all tribal officers met with strong opposition, the attorney generals office cancelled the "negotiations" with the 5 northern county commissioners and sheriffs.
Instead the CDA tribe have 2 state legislators working for them now in key positions, both the Senate and House Judicial and Rules committees leadership. Their strategy is to end run around the opposition and use the legislative slight of hand. I have been told that if they can get this out of committee and on the floor it will pass because the chairman (J Clark) is the sponsor and pushing it.
What is happening right now is that Jim Clark Chair of the House J&R committee is planning on having the first committee meeting sometime in the next week (Jan 25th - 29th, 2010) to bring forth the proposal to gut USC Public Law 280 in which the judicial and law enforcement powers are defined and limited in regards to Indian Tribes. They want to amend Idaho code 67-104 and give the Tribes in the state of Idaho State Law enforcement powers over non tribal citizens within boundaries of the reservations. Some of you may not be aware that not all lands within reservation boundaries are tribally owned and in fact the CDA and Nez Perce tribal reservations are over 80% non tribal lands. Not sure of the status of Kootenai Tribal lands. The Shoshone-Bannocks want nothing to do with this proposal I have heard.
We need everyone to do a few simple things.
Jim Clark home phone
Ask Otter to stop silencing the head of the state police and let him speak out on his real opinion against this legislation
Here are some key points to understand when formulating your letters.
1. To allow the Tribes state Law enforcement powers the state surrenders your constitutional and civil rights to a non representative government. It compromises and concedes your rights with the potential for horrific abuses while leaving the non tribal Idaho citizen with no one to turn to for justice as the tribal law enforcement officers are answerable to no one for their actions.
2. To expand Law enforcement authority by tribes over non-tribal persons it violates Supreme court precedent. The Supreme Court has consistently and repeatedly ruled that there was never any intention in law and history to grant those powers of authority to tribes over non-tribal persons. Reference case law Montana V US and Oliphant V US. Those decisions made it clear that Indian Tribes may not exercise criminal jurisdiction over non-indians.
3. The proposal would take away the rights of the vast majority of citizen's who live, work or travel through reservations of local, fully representative government. There have been several cases on the CDA reservation when citizens have been subjected to harassment and egregious acts bordering on, if not violating, RICO laws of extortion within Benewah County. The Benewah County Sheriff terminated the cross deputization agreement with the tribe because of civil rights violations of our county non tribal residents. With no accountability of the tribes to any one, we can only assume from past experience that harassment, arrests, and other abuses would occur, and the non-tribal persons would have no avenue of justice.
4. Granting such expansive and unchecked powers to tribes over non-tribal persons creates conditions ripe for discriminatory law enforcement practices. Here in Benewah county when the CDA tribal police had cross deputization there were cases when tribal members caused grave harm to non tribal persons and no notification of law violations were made to the county sheriff or prosecutor and the non tribal person was led to believe that was legal to not prosecute a tribal member and they had no recourse.
5. This proposal violates the Idaho Constitution Article XVIII Sect 6 by subverting the lawful appointed Sheriff's authority. And in Article I section 2 violates the designation of power to the people and a right to vote for their representative government officials.
6. Last and not least, this will result in costly litigation for the State. We will most likely win the challenges in court. And we are prepared to pursuit that option. Many people around the nation have been looking for such a case. Our state could pay dearly for this blunder.
It should also be looked into whether the citizens can name in a civil lawsuit the legislators who "knowingly and willfully" violated our constitutional and civil rights when they were informed about those facts and proceeded anyway. If we let the state protect legislators who knowing break the laws, what kind of license for malice does it give any one with willful intention to do harm.
Please even if you do not live on or near a reservation join with those of us who do and stand with us to protect the Constitutional and civil rights of all Idahoan's. For if the precedence is set to get away with it once it will be done again in another manor. Next time it could you and your neighbors. Stand with us for all present and future generations of Idahoan's.
Please let North Idaho Citizen's Alliance know if you are willing to sign onto and support financially a class action lawsuit if we need to pursuit that avenue. Do not send money now just pledge to join us when needed. Contact NICA via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your assistance in this fight.
St Maries, Idaho
In the Spirit of Truth,