Printer Friendly

Hearing Scheduled in Voting-Rights Suit Filed by Dorsey on Behalf of National Congress of American Indians and the Minnesota ACLU.

MINNEAPOLIS -- A hearing has been scheduled at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, October 29, before Judge James Rosenbaum in US District Court in Minneapolis to hear arguments filed earlier today against Minnesota's Secretary of State, Mary Kiffmeyer, arguing that the state's voter-registration policies discriminate against American Indian voters. Skip Durocher and Tim Branson, partners at Dorsey, will seek an injunction ordering Secretary Kiffmeyer to instruct all election officials and judges in Minnesota to accept tribal IDs on election day. Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearing.

The international law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court earlier today on behalf of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the Minnesota American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and individual American Indians. The compliant against Secretary Kiffmeyer argues that the state's voter-registration policies discriminate against American Indian voters and are inconsistent with Federal law, including the Help American Vote Act.

According to the Secretary of State's policy, American Indian voters may use tribal IDs to register on election day only if they live on their reservations. For tribal members who live outside reservations, the tribal ID will not be accepted as valid identification. Moreover, the Secretary of State permits voters without Minnesota driver licenses to use other forms of identification, such as student identification cards coupled with utility bills to register to vote, but won't allow Indian voters to use their tribal IDs together with utility bills to register on election day. The NCAI and the ACLU argue that this is a clear violation of the Constitution's First and Fourteenth Amendments, which ensure due process and equal protection under the law.

In the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area alone, as many as 33,000 American Indians live off reservations, and a significant number of them have only tribal IDs. "The Secretary of State draws an arbitrary line between tribal members on the reservation, and those who live elsewhere," said Skip Durocher a member of the Dorsey's Indian and Gaming Law group. "The Secretary has the authority to determine what may be used as identification at Minnesota polling places. It's unfortunate - and the suit maintains unconstitutional - that she has excluded tribal IDs."

About Dorsey & Whitney

Clients have relied on Dorsey since 1912 as a valued, cutting-edge business partner. With nearly 650 lawyers in 19 locations in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, we provide an integrated, proactive approach to our clients' legal and business needs. Dorsey represents a number of the world's most successful Fortune 500 companies from a variety of disciplines including leaders in the financial services, investment banking, life sciences, securities, technology and energy sectors, as well as nonprofit and government entities.

Dorsey's Indian and Gaming practice group serves both Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments, as well as clients doing business with Indian Tribes. The practice group includes tribal and non-tribal members with extensive experience representing Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments and business entities.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 28, 2004
Words:496
Previous Article:CBS News Unveils GIS Computer Mapping for 2004 Presidential Election Coverage.
Next Article:Symbion, Inc. Announces Third Quarter Results; Company Increases Guidance for Full Year 2004.
Topics:


Related Articles
The sovereignty struggle.
Commandments Controversies: A Battle Of Biblical Proportions.
LAPD CONSENT DECREE HEARING SET : CITY, ACLU SAY THEY WON'T OPPOSE FEDERAL JUDGE'S INTERVENTION.
Local couples join marriage suit.
BIG OUTCRY OVER TINY CROSS BOARD'S COMPROMISE ON COUNTY SEAL SPARKS OUTRAGE.
VOTE ON CROSS UPHELD BEFORE ANGRY CROWD.
Silent suits: challenging secrecy ... in secret.
Bullies at the voting booth.
Same-sex marriage allies, foes file in court.
FIGHT OVER THE CROSS REVIVED BACKERS OF OLD SEAL SAY ISSUE COULD REACH HIGH COURT.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters