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Justice Samuel Alito
WOUNDED KNEE, SOUTH DAKOTA - US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito laid a wreath at the Wounded Knee Memorial last Wednesday.
He was on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with other federal court judges at the request of Chief Judge Karen Schreier of the US District Court of South Dakota. The trip was an opportunity for Justice Alito and other jurists to familiarize themselves with concerns and issues important to American Indians.
South Dakota is in the 8th Circuit. Justice Alito is assigned to the US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, which includes five other states, including Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and North Dakota.
Justice Alito and his entourage visited the Red Cloud Indian School. At the school, they viewed Indian dancing by Lakota dancers and ate a traditional Lakota meal. Oglala Sioux Tribal Chairman John Yellow Bird - Steele and Tribal Chief Judge Pat Lee met with the jurists at the Red Cloud Indian School. Chairman Yellow Bird - Steele briefed the group on current living conditions on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Appointed by President George W. Bush, Justice Alito has served on the US Supreme Court since January 1, 2006.
In June, Justice Alito wrote the opinion for the 7-1 Supreme Court ruling against the Jicarilla Apache Nation. The case overturned two lower federal court decisions to rule against the Tribe's interests in a case involving their trust records. Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented and Justice Kagan took no part in consideration or decision of the case.
Last month, US Attorney General Eric Holder laid a wreath at the Wounded Knee Memorial, as well.
posted August 22, 2011 6:00 am edt
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