By Townhall. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch broke with conservatives and sided with the liberal wing of the Court on Monday.
The case, Herrera v. Wyoming, called into question a federal treaty from 1868 that allowed members of the Crow Tribe of Indians to hunt on “unoccupied lands of the United States” when Wyoming was admitted to the Union. Clayvin Herrera is a tribal member who hunted in the Bighorn National Forest and was charged for hunting during the off season. The Supreme Court had to decide if the treaty was still in effect or were nullified when Wyoming became a state in 1890. (Read more from “Gorsuch Sides with Liberal Justices in Hunting Case” HERE)
Gorsuch Breaks with Conservative Justices, Delivering Win to Native American Hunter
By Fox News. One of President Trump’s nominees sided Monday with the liberal wing of the Supreme Court for the second time in two weeks, as Justice Neil Gorsuch joined a narrow majority in support of a Native American man convicted for hunting in a national forest. . .
The opinion by Justice Sonia Sotomayor – and joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, and Gorsuch – ruled that the treaty indeed still applies, and that Crow member Clayvin Herrera was improperly convicted of off-season hunting in Bighorn National Forest in 2014.
The court’s 5-4 ruling, which vacated the decision from the state appellate court, is based on the 1999 decision in Minnesota v. Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians. In that case, the Supreme Court said that a territory gaining statehood is not enough “to extinguish Indian treaty rights to hunt, fish, and gather on land within state boundaries.” The court went further in that case, stating that Congress “must clearly express” an intention to end a treaty with a Native American tribe in order for the treaty’s rights to expire.
By siding with the traditionally liberal justices, Gorsuch gave them a 5-4 majority in the case.
The opinion came exactly one week after Trump’s other nominee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, sided with liberals in a 5-4 decision that he wrote, ruling that Apple could be sued by iPhone owners over high prices in their App Store. (Read more from “Gorsuch Breaks with Conservative Justices, Delivering Win to Native American Hunter” HERE)