The feds’ eagle-feather waiting list

by Walter Olson on October 3, 2009

Indian rights, religious freedom, equality claims and strict criminal penalties have gotten into a tangled mat [Marcia Zug, Prawfsblawg] Earlier on eagle feather law here, here, and here.

{ 4 comments }

1 Richard Nieporent 10.03.09 at 8:31 pm

At the same time however, criminalizing a person’s practice of their religion based on race is obviously concerning.

Well that is an understatement. There is something called the First Amendment. You would thing that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” would be clear enough even for the government and the Courts to understand.

Whether such regulations are permissible depends on whether they serve a compelling governmental interest and use the least restrictive means possible to further that interest.

So the First amendment can be abrogated at the whim of the government as long as they get the approval of the Courts? That is a very frightening concept.

According to the Utah district court, the compelling interest served by the regulations is the fostering of native religions generally.

So what part of “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” don’t they understand?

On appeal the government argues that the district court erred in its definition of the compelling interest. According to the government, the compelling interest is the accommodation of federally recognized tribes and the protection of Indian culture.

So if government says that that are protecting Indian culture they can not only violate the First amendment but they can also practice racism? You would have thought that the concept of the “White Man’s burden” would have disappeared with the end of Colonialism, but apparently you would be wrong.

2 Reformed Republican 10.05.09 at 8:40 am

Can eagles be bred and raised in captivity? If so, legalize eagle feather selling and possession, let people start eagle farms, and plenty of eagle bits for all interested parties.

3 jkoerner 10.05.09 at 9:18 am

Bald eagles are not even endangered anymore (from a numbers perspective at least, nothing actually gets to leave the endangered species list), and it is debatable whether they were ever endangered, or just threatened in North America. This type of law is one of those that appears facially unconstitutional, but for some reason courts have been willing to permit it.

4 Richard Nieporent 10.05.09 at 11:05 am

Environmentalism has become the state religion and we must worship Gaia. Although we claim to believe in Darwinism, we have passed a law, the endangered species act, that is contrary to the theory of evolution. Yes I know that they claim that it is man alone that is wiping out all of the species, but that is pure nonsense. It is one thing to attempt to prevent the slaughter of a species by man and it is another to attempt to regulate the use of the environment so that every species is given preference to man. We cannot stop evolution from happening no more than we can stop the climate from changing. Some species will die out and others will arise. That is the way that evolution works. It is too bad that we can’t put all of the environmental fanatics into a real Jurassic Park so that they can live in “harmony” with all of the creatures great and small.

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