The Story of Nebraska v. Parker
Vernon Miller is Chairman of the Omaha Nation. Recently, the nation has been in the news as it successfully defended its sovereignty before the Supreme Court in the case Nebraska v. Parker. In this episode, we discuss the background of the case, the strategy put together for the case, and the impact the case will have on his own nation, across Indian Country and on the Chairman’s leadership experience.
In recent years, Indian Country has been timid to bring cases to the Supreme Court because it has been viewed as an unfavorable, perhaps unknowledgeable, about Indian law. But this case turned out very different. The recent decision ruled in favor of the tribe. Unanimously. It was an important victory for the Omaha Nation and for all tribes.
This is a great episode for people that want to learn more about current issues, but may not be a lawyer (like me).
In this episode we discuss:
- The background of the case.
- The history of the case proceeding through the court system.
- How the tribe thought the case was laid to rest, only to learn the Supreme Court decided to hear the case.
- How the case began to weigh on Chairman Miller as a burden because of its potential impact not only to his tribe but to all of Indian Country.
- How the tribe decided to to work with Paul Clement, a well respected attorney, for the case. And how the Supreme Court Project of the Native American Rights Fund and the National Congress of American Indians worked with the nation along the way.
- The experience of watching the case be debated, and the uncertainty felt after watching the arguments.
- How the Chairman heard, and where he was, when he heard about the decision in favor of the tribe.
- The case was the last one heard by the late justice Antonin Scalia. And how the late justice once acknowledged that often times the Supreme Court “makes it up” when dealing with Indian law.
- Even though this major case is laid to rest, there is still work to do on other issues.