Backbone was just alerted to the disturbing fact that the Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office is arguing in front of the US Supreme Court tomorrow (Wednesday, April 18).
Anyone who has been involved in fights to protect our region from becoming a fossil fuel corridor to Asia knows that Coast Salish tribes have been leading the way. They’ve effectively used their moral and legal power to deliver victories – while state regulators are often impotent, absent, or only willing to take a stand after the tribes and people have fought the battles.
This is no time to be undermining a last line of defense for protecting future generations. This is the time to stand with Tribes and to celebrate their leadership and unique set of powerful tools – not foolishly collude to undermine them.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Solicitor General Noah Purcell need to stand down. It is easy to imagine the current Supreme Court using this case to undermine tribal sovereignty and power. The misguided position Washington State is taking could weaken the power of tribes to use treaty rights to protect salmon and other treaty protected resources we all care about. It is a waste of state and tribal resources to continue to litigate a case by which the state should simply abide. This is an outrage and a grand strategic blunder of the highest order.