Tahlequah Daily Press

September 19, 2013

Date set in federal court for Freedmen

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered a briefing schedule for summary judgement in the Freedmen and Cherokee Nation court case.

About 2,800 Freedmen descendants are seeking citizenship rights within the tribe. The tribe, in 2007, passed a constitutional amendment requiring tribal citizens to have at least one Indian ancestor on the federally authorized Dawes rolls.

Freedmen claim the Treaty of 1866 between the U.S. and the Cherokee Nation created citizenship for the slaves and their descendants.

Since 2007, Freedmen descendants were allowed all the rights of other Cherokee citizens.

The case has moved between U.S. Federal Court for the Northern District in Tulsa and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in Washington D.C. Primary claimants in the Freedmen case include Raymond Nash and Marilyn Vann.

Vann has been a vocal proponent of Freedmen citizenship, spearheading rallies and other grassroots events to further the case.

On Tuesday, Judge Thomas F. Hogan, of the D.C. court, ruled that the Cherokee Nation should have opening motions for partial or summary judgement filed no later than Nov. 29.

reedmen counter-claimants are to file a response by Jan. 31.

Oral arguments are set for 10 a.m., Monday, April 28, 2014, in Courtroom 25A in the D.C. court.

Hogan also ordered all other matters in the action, including pending motions to dismiss, be stayed until further notice.