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Fire Thunder ousted again



Well, the judge reversed her previous judgement and has revoked the reinstatement of Fire Thunder as President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

Will Peters, the tribal councilman who has been a major proponent for impeachment of Fire Thunder for her pro-abortion statements, made the surprise announcment after Fire Thunder's press conference on Tuesday.

"Peters said he and other council members, assisted by an attorney for the tribe, got the reinstatement revoked by citing a tribal law that prohibits injunctions against tribal officials.

The council members also argued, successfully, that the tribal council had not been allowed to defend its position.

Adams rescinded Fire Thunder's reinstatement, according to documents provided by Peters and by the Oglala Sioux Tribe, but the July 28 hearing at 1 p.m. in Pine Ridge stands.

Grey Eagle said he expects that hearing to be "packed."

Grey Eagle also argued that the law that Peters cited applies to permanent injunctions, not temporary injunctions. He said he would file a "memorandum of law" in tribal court in support of the temporary restraining order, but he said Fire Thunder would not directly challenge the most recent ruling. "We'll wait until the hearing July 28," he said."

Another issue brought up is the issue of free speech. I cannot believe this but the council are asserting that a tribal President can only say what the council says the President can say. This seems odd for a political figure. In most nations, the President or Prime Minister can stand in opposition to parliament or congress or whatever legislative body. It is part of the give and take of the political process. I can't imagine a world without it. Without this what power does the President have to effect change or assert leadership? And why are tribal leaders free from injunctions? It seems, that this would make them unaccountable.

"One key issue in the dispute is whether a president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe can make political statements without council approval.

Peters said, "She is free to do so as long as she is speaking in a positive manner about the tribe." But Fire Thunder should not have spoken about abortion without approval of the tribal council, he said. He called her clinic proposal "a slap in the face to the tribal membership," and he said that Fire Thunder had "engaged in unauthorized political activity."

Fire Thunder argued she was speaking as a private citizen and exercising her First Amendment rights. "I'm a real strong proponent of health care," she said."

You can read the rest of the article here:

The Rapid City Journal
Jacqueline Keeler
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