Monday, August 01, 2005

'Grave concern' over Roberts nomination

The Gwich'in Steering Committee issued a statement of ''grave concern'' over Roberts' nomination, calling attention to a brief he wrote for the state of Alaska in the 1997 U.S. Supreme Court case Venetie v. the State of Alaska. The court sided with Alaska, ruling that most Native lands there were not part of ''Indian country.''

Said steering committee representative Luci Beach, ''In two landmark cases, Roberts has argued that the rights of the state of Alaska supercede the sovereignty and subsistence rights guaranteed to Native peoples by the federal government ...

''This is sadly indicative of the Bush administration's disregard and contempt for basic tribal and human rights, which has also been signaled by Bush's incessant push to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge regardless of the impact to the land or the people.''