Monday, October 23, 2017

Crow Legislative Branch rejects challenges to 2001 Constitution

Crow Tribe Announcement

The Legislative Branch of the Crow Tribal Government is aware that public discussion is taking place regarding the "legitimacy" of the 2001 Constitution and Bylaws of the Crow Tribe of Indians. As a public announcement, the Legislative Branch Senators, through their individual oath of office hereby uphold the 2001 Constitution and continue to do so accordingly.

The Legislative Branch further asserts that the 2001 Constitution has survived all challenges and remains the Crow Tribe's governing document. Such challenges have been resolved on the merits procedurally and substantively in the Crow Tribal Court case: Greybull Huber v. Venne et al., Civil Case No. 04-001 on July 27, 2005.

The United States District Court for the District of Montana has also dismissed the same type of challenges on procedural grounds in the matter of Plains Bull v. Crow Nation Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches in 2010.

The federal government, through the former Assistant Secretary of Interior, Neal McCaleb has also reached the same conclusion on December 12, 2001. These decisions strengthened the foundation of the government-to-government relationship between the Crow Tribe and federal government for the past 16 years. As such, any issues surrounding the legality of the 2001 Constitution have been laid to rest.

The Legislative Branch is also aware that public forums are taking place facilitating the discussion of whether procedures of the 1948 Crow Constitution are available to contest the current 2001 Constitution. Such facilitation is misinformation to the Crow Tribal membership and causes misplaced conclusions.

Again, the Legislative Branch assures the public that the 1948 Constitution has been effectively repealed and replaced by the 2001 Constitution upon its adoption by the Crow Tribal Membership on July 14, 2001. Pursuant to the court cases resolving this issue, any purported actions taken pursuant to the 1948 Constitution would be considered void ab initio – or without legal standing – from their onset.

The 2001 Constitution defines the current General Council under Article I and the available means to institute government reform. This process works in accordance with Article IX of the 2001 Constitution by either the Initiative or Referendum process for

Amendments. This avenue provides the legal means for the Crow Tribal Membership for government reform.

Copies of the 200 I Constitution and current Election Ordinance are available to the public and on the website at www.ctlb.org. The Legislative Branch, as the People's Branch, fully support the Crow Tribal membership in government reform, but with a responsible, transparent and legal approach that will serve the best interests of the Tribe going forward. If there are any questions on this issue, please contact the Legislative Branch at 638-2025.

Eric Birdinground
Speaker of the House

Gordon Real Bird Jr.
Secretary of the House

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