Alaska Native Leaders Urge Alaska Senators to Do Their Job on Supreme Court Nominee

Media 03.10,16

ANCHORAGE Today, Alaska Native leaders hosted a press call urging Alaska’s senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, to give a fair hearing and a timely vote to the forthcoming Supreme Court nomination.  

Senator Sullivan has fallen in line with the obstructionist rhetoric of GOP leaders like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, while Senator Murkowski has been vague about whether or not she would support a timely vote on a qualified nominee.

Speakers on today’s call, who included leaders from prominent Native advocacy groups Alaska Federation of Natives and National Congress of American Indians, reminded the two senators of their constitutional duty to do their jobs and honor the confirmation process when the president chooses a nominee.

·         Click here to listen to an MP3 of the call.

Quotes from the call’s participants are below.

Julie Kitka, President, Alaska Federation of Natives

“U.S. Supreme Court decisions, or lack of decisions, affect many Americans and deeply affect Native people. The U.S. Constitution spells out quite clearly that it is the President’s responsibility to nominate the nominee and the Senate’s duty to hear and vote upon the nominee.”

Jacqueline Pata, Executive Director, National Congress of American Indians

“Tribes are affected by the federal courts to a greater degree than almost any other group in the country. It could be damaging for Native people and our tribal governments if the Supreme Court is caught in a 4-4 tie on critical issues for the next two years. NCAI has adopted a resolution urging both the President and the Senate to move forward to nominate and consider a replacement.”