The sovereign nature of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s later work

The first Native American woman to become a federal judge talks about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy and the impact she had on tribal nations. Ginsburg died on Friday after complications with cancer. Back in 2014 Diane Humetewa, Hopi, became the first Native American woman to be confirmed as a federal judge and she shares a story about meeting Ginsburg and talks about her controversial stance on federal Indian law.

Humetewa described Ginsburg as ‘iconic.’ She was only the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court. Indigenous people have been critical of the majority opinion she authored in the City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York case. The Supreme Court denied the Oneida Nation sovereignty on land they had to repurchase. Ginsburg wrote, they would “preclude the tribe from rekindling embers of sovereignty that long ago grew cold.” More recently, Ginsburg sided with Justice Neil Gorsuch in the McGirt v. Oklahoma ruling, which favored tribal sovereignty. 

Dalton Walker, Indian Country Today’s national correspondent, has been busy working on a number of stories. One of his latest dives into the latest on TikTok and Native influencers. Another story Walker is covering is on the first Native American cyclist to race in the Tour de France. He has an update on how Oneida cyclist Neilson Powless is faring during his first Tour de France and how Powless is blazing a new trail for Native youth. 

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