Breaking Legal News - POSTED: 2010/12/13 15:56
The Mountain States Legal Foundation has built a reputation as an influential behind-the-scenes player over the years on conservative legal causes.
It has waged battles against affirmative action and protections for endangered species while being bankrolled by some of the most powerful families in the West.
The group is now fighting a protracted legal battle with American Indians who believe the organization is trampling on their voting rights in a rural Wyoming county.
At issue is a local dispute over the election of county commissioners in Fremont County. Mountain States Legal Foundation has been representing the county pro bono for the last five years in a fight against American Indians who want greater representation on the commission.
That Mountain States has waded into such a local dispute further demonstrates the clout it seeks to wield in Western legal disputes, in this case arguing first that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 didn't apply to Indians in Fremont CountyFailing at that, it's now arguing on appeal that a federal judge can't order the county to create separate commission districts.