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Gorsuch Hires First Native American Tribe Citizen as Supreme Court Clerk

Neil Gorsuch / Getty Images
• April 17, 2018 11:03 am

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Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has hired Chickasaw Nation citizen Tobi Merritt Edwards Young, making her the first enrolled citizen of a Native American tribe to clerk for a justice on the Supreme Court.

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby commemorated the hire, Native News Online reported.

"It is difficult to overstate the significance of having a well-qualified, experienced Chickasaw such as Ms. Young serving as Supreme Court clerk," Anoatubby said.

Chickasaw Nation also shared the news on Twitter. "Chickasaw citizen Tobi Young was announced last week as the newest law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Young currently serves as General Counsel for , Chickasaw Nation wrote.

Young can trace her heritage to Winchester Colbert, the second governor of the Chickasaw Nation, according to Native News Online.

"I am very pale, and nobody is going to look at me on the street and say, ‘Oh, she’s Indian,’" she chuckled. "But it was very important to my father that I understand where I came from and he instilled in me the pride of being a Chickasaw."

Slate published an article Monday praising the hire. "The Supreme Court Is Terrible at Hiring Diverse Law Clerks, but Neil Gorsuch Is Surprisingly Good at It," the piece's headline read.

Anoatubby said Gorsuch is respected in the Native American community for his understanding of Indian law.

"His decision to select a Native American to serve as clerk underscores his appreciation of the importance of the Native perspective on Indian law," he said.