Native Leader Expresses Concern About Kavanaugh

Sep 17, 2018

Leaders of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians are meeting this week in Worley, Idaho.
Credit Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Native American leaders say they have concerns about U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Today [Monday] in Worley, Idaho, the executive director of the National Congress of American Indians shared her thoughts about Kavanaugh at the fall conference of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.

Jackie Pata [PA-tuh] said Kavanaugh’s past judicial writings show a hostility to the status of indigenous people.

“You can see that his interpretations of indigenous people in our relationship is concerning. In the Rice v. Cayetano writings, he didn’t believe that Native Hawaiians should have this indigenous or this recognition status. We’re concerned that that could be interpreted broader than just native Hawaiians,” Pata said.

She said she planned to share her concerns in a meeting Monday afternoon with North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp.

As of now, Kavanaugh is still due for a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.