Policy & Advocacy

Action Alert

Your immediate attention to this issue is needed!

Urgent Action Needed: Oppose Eric Miller’s Nomination to the

U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals


The Senate Judiciary Committee will proceed with a hearing on the nomination of Eric Miller to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals during the Congressional recess next week. It is highly unusual for a hearing to take place when the Senate is not in session, and this development is especially concerning because senators will not be able to fully examine his record on Indian law issues.


NCAI and the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) sent a letter to the Judiciary Committee strongly opposing his nomination on August 21, 2018. And today, in response to this development, NCAI’s Executive Committee passed an emergency resolution formally opposing his nomination. Mr. Miller has sided against tribal interests in a laundry list of cases and has consistently made arguments designed to diminish tribal sovereignty. It is critical that tribal leaders contact their Senate representatives and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to let them know that Eric Miller should not be confirmed.


The Ninth Circuit includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. There are 427 federally recognized tribal nations in the Ninth Circuit, more than any other federal court of appeals. Because the Ninth Circuit hears more tribal cases than any other, it is a leader in the field of federal Indian law and it feeds more tribal cases into the Supreme Court than any other circuit court. A nominee like Eric Miller should be strongly opposed by tribal nations and all Native people.


Indian Country needs to let Congress know tribal sovereignty will not be compromised, and that we expect individuals nominated for federal judgeships to respect and uphold tribal rights. NCAI has prepared a sample tribal resolution and a sample tribal letter of opposition for tribal nations to use in their opposition efforts.


NCAI Contact Info: Virginia Davis, Senior Advisor, vdavis@ncai.org


About The National Congress of American Indians: Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information, visit www.ncai.org

Policy & Advocacy


Top federal priorities, in order of importance, include:

  1. Congressional funding of IHS programs
  2. Special Diabetes for American Indians grant funding
  3. Tribal Community Best Practices/culturally appropriate services
  4. Medicaid-Medicare policy
  5. Affordable Care Act/Indian Healthcare Improvement Act implementation, e.g. require private insurance companies to accept health providers licensed in other states
  6. Mental health/substance abuse programs, e.g. suicide prevention
  7. IHS facilities funding issues, e.g. funding Youth Regional Treatment Centers and changing Facilities Priority List
  8. Advocate for Tribal Health Programs before federal agencies
  9. Protect tribal sovereignty and manage federal services
  10. Federal consultation


Top state priorities, in order of importance, include:

  1. Restoring $6.4 million Indian Health Program
  2. Maintaining $2.3 million CalWORKs Indian Clinic Substance Abuse Program
  3. Advocating for Tribal Health Programs before state agencies, e.g. Medi-Cal, mental health
  4. State funding for Tribal facilities
  5. Advocating for Tribal Health Programs in the Covered California Marketplace, e.g. Tribal sponsorship
  6. State consultation


Other priorities, in order of importance, include protecting Tribal sovereignty, land and cultural rights, environmental issues that impact health, including water, and traditional hunting and fishing rights.

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Visit the Official Website of the House of Representatives to find your local government representatives by zip code.

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