by Attorney Hertha Lund
There she goes again. Catherine Vandemoer’s recent column illustrates why Montanans should not trust someone to practice law without a license, who needs to build a citizens’ group for her income. Ms. Vandemoer’s constant mistruths and self-serving rantings have been very bad for Montana agriculture.
In her recent rant, Ms. Vandemoer questioned whether the CSKT Compact actually passed. She based her question on a recent suit filed by the Flathead Joint Board of Control (“FJBC”) against the entire Legislature, the Governor, and the Attorney General of Montana. The FJBC argues language in the CSKT Compact is a violation of the State Constitution prohibition on waiving sovereign immunity.
However, the FJBC and Ms. Vandemoer have it all backwards. The Compact’s waiver of sovereign immunity is completely the opposite of what the Constitution prohibits. Instead of granting immunity, which is prohibited, the Compact waives sovereign immunity vis-à-vis the Eleventh Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The State of Montana, the federal government, and the Tribes are all sovereign. In other words, these entities cannot be sued in court unless they waive their immunity and agree to allow suit.
For example: The state cannot be sued in federal court or Tribal court under the Eleventh Amendment and related court decisions. The federal government cannot be sued in state court. Correspondingly, the Tribes cannot be sued in state or federal court. [Read more…]