Tribal Chairperson Aaron Payment: U.S. Senators are not Above the Law

US Supreme CourtGuest Commentary

Tell your Senators to hold hearings on the President Obama’s nomination for U.S. Supreme Court

Published February 29, 2016

Regardless of political ideology or party alligence, Americans recognize the importance of following the basic rules of government laid out in the U.S. Constitution.

As President Ronald Reagan said in 1988 during the confirmation process of Justice Kennedy: “The federal judiciary is too important to be made a political football and the American people should expect … for the Senate to get to work and act.”

Aaron Payment, tribal chairman of Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa, represneted NCAI in his role as regional vice president.

Aaron Payment, tribal chairperson of Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa.

Today, in this presidential election year, some United States senators are threatening to turn their backs on constitutional requirements to hold hearings to consider the President Barack Obama’s nominee for U.S. Supreme Court.

Currently, there are several key cases impacting sovereignty pending or heading to the Supreme Court. These cases hang in the balance. It is irresponsible for United States senators to thwart our democracy and balance of power through their dereliction of duty. 

Tell your senators from your state that this is unacceptable. They don’t need to support the president of the United States, but they do need to honor and follow the Constitution indiscriminately and “get to work and act” by scheduling confirmation hearings.

U.S. Senators are not above the law.

Tell your Senators to hold hearings on the President’s nomination for U.S. Supreme Court. You can find your Senators at

Aaron Payment is the tribal chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, based in Sault Ste. Michigan. With over 43,000 tribal citizens, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe is the largest tribe east of the Mississippi and operates gaming and enterprises.  In addition to his role as tribal chairperson of his Tribe, Payment serves secretary for the National Congress of American Indians and serves on a tribal advisory board for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In August 2015, he was named to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education by President Obama.

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