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.