SCOTUS just guaranteed that thousands of Native Americans can’t vote in November


Only the uniform has changed

The U.S. Supreme Court…rejected a Hail Mary appeal filed by a group of Native American voters in North Dakota late last month in the hopes of preserving their right to vote in the upcoming November elections.

Native American Rights Fund (NARF) originally filed Brakebill v. Jaeger in 2016 on behalf of a group of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa tribe, alleging that North Dakota’s voter identification law discriminates against Native voters in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. U.S. District Court Judge Daniel L. Hovland agreed—twice, once in 2016 and again in 2018—and both times issued injunctions blocking portions of the law.

Late last month, however, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with North Dakota and gave the state the green light to enforce the law in next month’s elections. This could potentially throw the elections into chaos since, according to NARF, early voting has already begun. And on Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld the Eighth Circuit’s order—thus ensuring, according to court documents, that nearly 2,300 Native Americans won’t be able to cast their ballot in November.

Tidy little Anglo minds don’t comprehend that reservation life isn’t governed by lovely checkerboard street maps with proper names and numbers. It’s not a big deal to find your way around or find someone who needs finding. Legal stuff is usually handled via a Post Office rented mailbox. Also not acceptable to rectilinear minds.

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