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September 25, 2017

Comments

Just thinking out loud here: could it be argued that in this particular case, by acquiring the patents *AFTER* proceedings before PTAB had already been instituted, SRMT's sovereign immunity was already waived, i.e. since it stepped into a situation where proceedings had already commenced, it consented to waiver of its immunity?

This article is an astonishing piece of a deplorable lack of journalist curiosity regarding U.S./State citizens with “Indian ancestry/race” since The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924! That single Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, made null all previous common law-state and federal-including Presidential Executive Orders, Commerce Clause and Treaty Clause alleged Indian Treaties (if any U.S. Senate confirmed Indian treaties actually existed pre-1924 Citizenship) regarding U.S./State citizens with “Indian ancestry/race” so often touted by politicians and Indian advocates as being legitimate law.
And yet, politicians and MSM continue to perpetuate willful blindness to the Constitutional absurdity that Congress, Presidents/Governors, Initiatives and Referendums can make distinguishable the capacities, metes and boundaries of a select group of U.S./State citizens with “Indian ancestry/race” post citizenship. There is nothing in U.S.C. Title 25-INDIANS that speaks to the Constitution’s mandate that common law must be for “We, The People, By The People and For The People’s” health, welfare, safety and benefits for a specific geographic area in a State or the Union.
The United States Constitution makes for no provisions for:
1. Indian sovereign nations. None of the asserted tribes possess any of the attributes of being a ‘sovereign nation:’ a. No U.S. Constitution recognition b. No international recognition c. No fixed borders d. No military e. No currency f. No postal system g. No passports h. et al
2. Treaties with its own constituency
3. Indian reservations whereby a select group of U.S./State citizens with “Indian ancestry/race” reside exclusively and to the exclusion of all others, on land-with rare exception-that is owned by the People of the United States according to federal documents readily available on-line that notes rights of renters as ‘occupancy and use’ by these distinguished U.S./State citizens with “Indian ancestry/race” only with the land owned by the People of the United States.
4. Recognition of ‘Indian citizenship’ asserted by various tribes. There is no international/U.S. Constitution recognition of “Indian citizenship” as there is no ‘nation-state’ from which citizenship is derived.
A simple question for politicians and MSM to answer…a question so simple, it is hard:
“Where is the proclamation ratified by the voters of the United States that amends the Constitution to make the health, welfare, safety and benefits of a select group of U.S./State citizens distinguishable because of their “Indian ancestry/race?”

The Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 made null all references to "Indians" in the Constitution. One's U.S./State Citizenship is now controlled entirely by the Constitution as noted in the following SCOTUS decisions and American Journal of Law clearly states an un-Constitutional act has no validity! Again, this question will debunk the Mohawks position:

"Where is the proclamation ratified by the voters of the United States that amends the Constitution to make the health, welfare, safety and benefits of a select group of U.S./State citizens distinguishable because of their “Indian ancestry/race?”

These SCOTUS decisions affirm that once U.S. Citizenship is achived, the Constitution is controlling and in order to make the Mohawk position true requires a Constitutional Amendment to make a select group of U.S./State citizens 'distinguishable' (SCOTUS in Osborn)from all other non-Indian U.S./State citizens. Stare Decisis forecloses citation of any court decision pre-1924 citizenship post 1924 citizenship as there are no more "Indians" within the original meaning of the Constitution including Indian court decisions pre-citizenship...only U.S./State citizens with "Indian ancestry/race" entitled to no more and no less than every other non-Indian U.S./State citizen!

1. United States Supreme Court AFROYIM v. RUSK, (1967) No. 456 Argued: February 20, 1967 Decided: May 29, 1967
“(a) Congress has no express power under the Constitution to strip a person of citizenship, and no such power can be sustained as an implied attribute of sovereignty, as was recognized by Congress before the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment; and a mature and well-considered dictum in Osborn v. Bank of the United States, 9 Wheat. 738, 827, is to the same effect. Pp. 257-261.
(b) The Fourteenth Amendment's provision that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States . . . are citizens of the United States . . ." completely controls the status of citizenship and prevents the cancellation of petitioner's citizenship. Pp. 262-268”

2. United States Supreme Court OSBORN v. BANK OF U.S., (1824) No. 80
Argued: Decided: March 19, 1824
“A naturalized citizen is indeed made a citizen under an act of Congress, but the act does not proceed to give, to regulate, or to prescribe his capacities. He becomes a member of the society, possessing all the rights of a native citizen, and standing, in the view of the constitution, on the footing of a native. The constitution does not authorize Congress to enlarge or abridge those rights. The simple power of the national Legislature, is to prescribe a uniform rule of naturalization, and the exercise of this power exhausts it, so far as respects the individual. The constitution then takes him up, and, among other rights, extends to him the capacity of suing in the Courts of the United States, precisely under the same circumstances under which a native might sue. He is [22 U.S. 738, 828] distinguishable in nothing from a native citizen, except so far as the constitution makes the distinction. The law makes none.”

3. "An unconstitutional act is not a law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; it affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed." [Norton v. Shelby County, 118 US 425 (1885)]

4. United States Supreme Court
ADARAND CONSTRUCTORS, INC. v. PENA, (1995) No. 93-1841 Argued: January 17, 1995 Decided: June 12, 1995:
JUSTICE SCALIA, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.
I join the opinion of the Court, except Part III-C, and except insofar as it may be inconsistent with the following: In my view, government can never have a "compelling interest" in discriminating on the basis of race in order to "make up" for past racial discrimination in the opposite direction. See Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co., 488 U.S. 469, 520 (1989) (SCALIA, J., concurring in judgment). Individuals who have been wronged by unlawful racial discrimination should be made whole; but under our Constitution there can be no such thing as either a creditor or a debtor race. That concept is alien to the Constitution's focus upon the individual, see Amdt. 14, 1 ("[N]or shall any State . . . deny to any person" the equal protection of the laws) (emphasis added), and its rejection of dispositions based on race, see Amdt. 15, 1 (prohibiting abridgment of the right to vote "on account of race") or based on blood, see Art. III, 3 ("[N]o Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood"); Art. I, 9 ("No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States"). To pursue the concept of racial entitlement - even for the most admirable and benign of purposes - is to reinforce and preserve for future [ ADARAND CONSTRUCTORS, INC. v. PENA, ___ U.S. ___ (1995) , 2] mischief the way of thinking that produced race slavery, race privilege and race hatred. In the eyes of government, we are just one race here. It is American.
It is unlikely, if not impossible, that the challenged program would survive under this understanding of strict scrutiny, but I am content to leave that to be decided on remand. [ ADARAND CONSTRUCTORS, INC. v. PENA, ___ U.S. ___ (1995) , 1]
JUSTICE THOMAS, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.
I agree with the majority's conclusion that strict scrutiny applies to all government classifications based on race. I write separately, however, to express my disagreement with the premise underlying JUSTICE STEVENS' and JUSTICE GINSBURG'S dissents: that there is a racial paternalism exception to the principle of equal protection. I believe that there is a "moral [and] constitutional equivalence," post, at 3, (STEVENS, J., dissenting), between laws designed to subjugate a race and those that distribute benefits on the basis of race in order to foster some current notion of equality. Government cannot make us equal; it can only recognize, respect, and protect us as equal before the law.
That these programs may have been motivated, in part, by good intentions cannot provide refuge from the principle that under our Constitution, the government may not make distinctions on the basis of race. As far as the Constitution is concerned, it is irrelevant whether a government's racial classifications are drawn by those who wish to oppress a race or by those who have a sincere desire to help those thought to be disadvantaged. There can be no doubt that the paternalism that [ ADARAND CONSTRUCTORS, INC. v. PENA, ___ U.S. ___ (1995) , 2] appears to lie at the heart of this program is at war with the principle of inherent equality that underlies and infuses our Constitution. See Declaration of Independence ("We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness").
These programs not only raise grave constitutional questions, they also undermine the moral basis of the equal protection principle. Purchased at the price of immeasurable human suffering, the equal protection principle reflects our Nation's understanding that such classifications ultimately have a destructive impact on the individual and our society. Unquestionably, "[i]nvidious [racial] discrimination is an engine of oppression," post, at 3. It is also true that "[r]emedial" racial preferences may reflect "a desire to foster equality in society," ibid. But there can be no doubt that racial paternalism and its unintended consequences can be as poisonous and pernicious as any other form of discrimination. So-called "benign" discrimination teaches many that because of chronic and apparently immutable handicaps, minorities cannot compete with them without their patronizing indulgence. Inevitably, such programs engender attitudes of superiority or, alternatively, provoke resentment among those who believe that they have been wronged by the government's use of race. These programs stamp minorities with a badge of inferiority and may cause them to develop dependencies or to adopt an attitude that they are "entitled" to preferences. Indeed, JUSTICE STEVENS once recognized the real harms stemming from seemingly "benign" discrimination. See Fullilove v. Klutznick, 448 U.S. 448, 545 (1980) (STEVENS, J., dissenting) (noting that "remedial" race legislation "is perceived by many as resting on an assumption that those who are granted this special [ ADARAND CONSTRUCTORS, INC. v. PENA, ___ U.S. ___ (1995) , 3] preference are less qualified in some respect that is identified purely by their race").
In my mind, government-sponsored racial discrimination based on benign prejudice is just as noxious as discrimination inspired by malicious prejudice. * In each instance, it is racial discrimination, plain and simple.

"The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and the name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void and ineffective for any purpose since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it; an unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed ... An unconstitutional law is void. (16 Am. Jur. 2d, Sec. 178)"

Question for someone more knowledgeable: Since the tribe has engaged/is engaging in commercial activity with respect to these patents by licensing them back to Allergan and profiting from that license, are the patents themselves not subject to challenge in the same way as the Australian CSIRO patents, where the fact that there was commercial activity relating to them prevented the assertion of foreign sovereign immunity?

How can Allergan possibly remove itself from an existing IPR by a subsequent "assignment" when it obviously remains at least "privy" if not the "real party in interest" in the IPR since it's "assignment" has clearly has not given up all control of this patent or it could not be proceeding in the D.C.?

Dear Paul: no offense intended but keep in mind that what is interesting (we hope) to readers of this blog is the effect of the SRMT's assertion of sovereign immunity in a patent context. We don't have the knowledge or expertise to explicate much less debate the status of the Native American groups as they self-identify (e.g., SRMT).

But thanks for giving us your perspective.

Atari, Derek and Paul: No doubt your arguments will find their way into Petitioners' opposition brief(s). My thought is that the issue is one of status: if the SRMT can assert sovereign immunity then when they acquired the patents is not relevant. My very brief review of the cases cited in SRMT's brief suggest to me that this black-or-white view of the matter is the basis for much of the case law supporting recognition of the immunity by various Native American tribes.

Thanks for the comments

How far does the proposed Native American tribal immunity go?

Let's say (for argument's sake) that they are successful in inoculating themselves [bad historical pun, my apologies] from IPRs.

Does that same power then stop Article III challenges?

Or would a tribe choosing to enforce a patent in an Article III forum constitute appropriate waiver?

Dear skeptical: for now, the tribe is taking the position that their immunity extends to IPRs and proceedings before the PTAB. I think that if they were to enforce the claims in an ANDA they would need to waive the immunity, because Allergan would be the ANDA plaintiff and the tribe would be an indispensable party.

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