Speaking of throttling Indians, or at least their freedom of speech, Reason magazine reports on a lawsuit challenging an Oklahoma law that forbids marketing art as “American-Indian-made” unless the artist’s tribe is on a list maintained by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. Peggy Fontenot’s tribe is recognized by Virginia but isn’t on the BIA’s list—though state-recognized tribes are covered by the federal Indian Arts & Crafts Act. “So, Fontenot is an American Indian artist under federal law, but she can’t call herself that under Oklahoma state law because of a list maintained by a federal bureaucracy.” The lawsuit argues the state law violates the First Amendment and the Commerce Clause.
I don’t think I mentioned that despite the United States’ purportedly strong stance against illegal immigration, about 1,500 undocumented Americans entered Canada in a single incident this summer. See “Drunk Americans illegally float into Canada,” Washington Post (Aug. 24, 2016). The Canadians politely returned them.
Tip: even if there might be a valid point somewhere in the decision (and I’m not saying there is), you should consider whether another case (or six) making that point might be available before citing Dred Scott v. Sanford, which as the article notes “is often referred to as the worst ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court’s history.”