United States Commission on Civil Rights

Confidential Draft Report
“Enforcement of the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968”

May 1990


Indian Civil Rights, page 34
accordingly, the Bureau of Indian Affairs can neither approve nor recognize the criteria in Resolution No. 237-85.  The exiting Tribal Code provision (Chapter 1, § 4(1)[)] is equally restrictive because it limits licensing to Band members.  In these circumstances - where there is no specifically approved tribal ordinance governing admission to practice and the present code effectively prevents attorneys from appearing in the Court - attorneys appearing in the Red Lake Court of Indian Offenses will be required to meet the standards for practice before the Department of Interior...
     Next, I am also aware that the Red Lake Band has issued that Mr. Meshbesher be removed from the Reservation by Law Enforcement Services personnel.  Bureau personnel are hereby directed not to enforce that removal order. [72]

     Nevertheless, in a case brought in 1987, Attorney Meshbesher was forced to bring a habeas corpus petition in Federal court, alleging denials of the right to counsel, the right to a jury trial and right to a speedy public trial. [73]  With respect to the right to counsel, the petition alleged:

Each of the Petitioners has retained the services of Richard Meshbesher, licensed attorney at law, to

__________
      [72] U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Memorandum from Earl J. Barlow, Area Director, to Superintendent, Red Lake Agency (Jan. 10, 1986).

     [73] Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Anderson v. Schoenborne, File No. 6-87-3 (D.Minn. petition filed Jan. 5, 1987).

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