U.N. enlists U.S. lawprof to scold U.S. on Indian land rights

by Walter Olson on May 12, 2012

As noted earlier, last week U.N. Human Rights Council rapporteur James Anaya (who also happens to be a lawprof at the University of Arizona) declared the U.S. to be trampling the aboriginal land rights of Indian tribes. I have a new Daily Caller piece pointing out (as I detail at more length in Schools for Misrule) that the U.N.’s involvement with American law school projects is nothing new: “Now the plaintiff’s counsel [in the Western Shoshone claim] of a few years back re-surfaces as the official instrument of a U.N. body, a revolving-door arrangement that is actually quite typical of the international human rights establishment, where a rather small band of crusading law professors, ‘civil society’ activists and Guardian readers around the world seem to take turns investigating each others’, or as the case may be their own, countries for putative human rights violations.” (& Julian Ku, Opinio Juris)

{ 3 comments }

1 Karen 05.12.12 at 2:18 pm

I declare the US government is trampling on my right to keep my paycheck by having me pay taxes. Where’s my UN support?

2 wfjag 05.12.12 at 4:15 pm

In restitution I think that Anaya’s professorship should be given to a blond-haired, blue-eyed woman with high cheek bones.

3 a_random_guy 05.13.12 at 5:48 am

Having grown up around Indian reservations, I can only say the the current situation is perverse. The reservations claim the rights of sovereignty – immunity from taxes, local law, etc. – except when this is inconvenient, then suddenly it’s different. They insist on their right to “have their cake, and eat it too”.

The one thing the US can and should do is clarify the situation. If the reservations are sovereign, then they should be treated as such; they are not subject to US/State law, taxes, etc.; they receive no support from the US or the local state; their residents are not US citizens. Alternatively, the Indians *are* American citizens, receive the same support anyone else does, collectively own the reservation land, and receive no special treatment.

Until quite recently, history consisted in large part of one group of people conquering and pillaging another. That’s just the way things were, and you cannot roll the clock. All of the original conquerors *and* victims are long dead; the only thing we can do is decide how to go forward today. The current reservation system is corrupt, and is actually a huge hindrance to the current population living in the reservations. The best thing we could do is to completely eliminate it, as described above.

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