October 26, 2020

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm, Pacific Time

ACS Puget Sound: Undoing State v. Towessnute

In July, the Washington Supreme Court reversed its 1916 decision in State v. Towessnute, which upheld criminal charges for multiple violations of state fishing law against Alec Towessnute, a member of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. Along with doing so, the Court in its 1916 opinion dismissed the Yakama Nation’s treaty rights and filled its opinion with racist invective about indigenous people and their sovereignty.

More than a century after its original decision, the Court unanimously repudiated the racist language of the previous Court and vacated any conviction against Towessnute in an order read by Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis from the bench. Please join the Puget Sound Lawyer Chapter, and our panelists Justice Steve Gonzalez, Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis, and Jack Fiander for a discussion about this decision and about overturning unjust and racist precedent generally.



Hon. Steve Gonzalez, Justice, Washington Supreme Court

Hon. Raquel Montoya-Lewis, Justice, Washington Supreme Court

Jack Fiander, Attorney-at-Law, Towtnuk Law Offices, Ltd. and Sacred Ground Legal Services, Inc.