Native American lawyer confirmed to U.N. human rights post

(Courtesy: Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP)
(Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP)

The Senate confirmed Washington lawyer Keith Harper, a member of the Cherokee Nation, to be the U.S. representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday, making him the first member of a federally recognized tribe to be accorded an ambassadorial-rank post.

Harper, confirmed on a 52-42 party-line vote, has been active in human rights and civil rights organizations. He was also a mega-bundler, having raised more than $500,000 for President Obama’s 2012 campaign.

Harper was one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers in a long-running class-action lawsuit by Native Americans, who claimed that the federal government had mismanaged Indian trust accounts. The Obama administration settled the suit in 2009 for $3.4 billion.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.
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