In 1835 the US Government managed to negotiate a treaty with the Cherokee Tribe that replaced the previous treaty that was supposed to be in perpetuity. This time, the Cherokee “agreed” to leave their ancestral lands in exchange for a lot of money and never come back. There were, of course, some issues with the treaty, like it was never really completely clear that it was actually with the Cherokee nation, but hey, why let that stand in the way of progress?
This week, the Cherokee Tribe announced that it intended to nominate a person to fill a seat in Congress promised to them in 1835, but hitherto has remained unfulfilled.
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to Conservative media, you have no doubt heard floated the idea that President Trump should go full Jackson and just ignore the Court rulings against the Executive Order and just plow ahead with the travel ban regardless of the Courts. I have personally heard this suggested by some of the leading Conservative commentators as well as repeated on countless Social Media posts.
This would, obviously, be very popular. Jackson was a populist. Trump is a populist.
Trump stands accused of racism in his use of the Executive Order to ban certain religious beliefs from entering the Country. Jackson had a lifetime of racial animosity driving his decision to allow the States to continue their removal of the Cherokee Indians from their homeland in Georgia.
Of course the problem is that Jackson never said what he is said to have said. But… he did use the ruling to his advantage
In 1832, the Supreme Court used US Marshals to enforce its rulings, but in this case, decided to not do so. Even though the Courts had essentially incorporated the management of Indian affairs against the States, no US Marshal’s were sent to Georgia to make it happen. Meanwhile Jackson, who purportedly had made his statement about the “stillborn” ruling that gets so much press today, used the rulings benefits to manipulate the situation and force the Cherokee to give up their lands.
So as we sit here today and ponder the question of the what should the President do about the Court ruling, it’s easy to see why many people believe that just ignoring it is the best course.
But is it?
Is ignoring the ruling truly the path of the Conservative? Or is it the path of the Populist?
In 1832, nobody saw what was coming because of the Courts ruling and Jackson’s refusal to uphold it. Can you see what might happen tomorrow if Trump plots a similar course?