Yakama Nation chairman denied entry to U.S. Supreme Court hearing over headdress

Image from JoDe Goudy's Facebook page

WASHINGTON D.C. - Yakama Nation Chairman JoDe Goudy has been denied access to a U.S. Supreme Court hearing Tuesday for wearing a traditional headdress.

A Yakama Nation news release stated Goudy was denied entry to the hearing of the Washington State Dept. of Licensing vs. Cougar Den, Inc. case, unless he removed the headdress.

The case concerns the Yakama Nation's right to avoid state taxes on off-reservation commercial activities that make use of public highways, under the Yakama Treaty of 1855.

The hearing stems from a state Department of Licensing lawsuit in 2013 against the Cougar Den, a gas station in White Swan. The department has claimed Kip Ramsey, who owns the store, brought out-of-state fuel onto the reservation without paying the state's fuel tax.

A live video posted to Goudy's Facebook page Tuesday shows Goudy talking to one of the security guards outside the hearing.

Tribal members said that in the video, the guard explains why the chairman cannot wear the headdress to the hearing, saying the court cannot be subject to outside influence.

Goudy's Facebook post reads, "Denied access to view the Yakama Nation Supreme Court case .... it’s a beautiful day my relatives ... keep a prayer in your hearts for all of our Nations, Lands, Waters, Peoples, and Relations ... Atauwishamush".

Instead of removing his headdress, Goudy peacefully left the courtroom and went outside to pray, according to the news release.

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