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Elizabeth A. Reese, Yunpoví (Tewa: Willow Flower) is a scholar of American Indian tribal law, federal Indian law, and constitutional law focusing on the intersection of identity, race, citizenship, and government structure. Her scholarship examines the way government structures, citizen identity, and the history that is taught in schools, can impact the rights and powers of oppressed racial minorities within American law.
Professor Reese is a nationally recognized expert on tribal law and federal Indian law and frequent media commentator on developments within the doctrine, particularly at the U.S. Supreme Court. Her scholarship on tribal law, constitutional law, popular sovereignty, and voting rights law has been published in Stanford Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, Cardozo Law Review, and Houston Law Review.
Previously, Professor Reese worked at the National Congress of American Indians where she supported tribal governments across the country as they implemented expanded criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians under the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. Her comprehensive five-year report on the tribal prosecutions thus far—which documented not only outcomes and unforeseen complications but the surge of tribal law innovation brought on by expanded jurisdiction—has been widely cited everywhere from Congress to Supreme Court briefs. Reese began her legal career as a civil rights litigator at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund where she led a desegregation case in one of the largest school districts in Florida and worked on the challenge to Alabama’s Voter ID law.
Abby Abinanti, Yurok Chief Judge, is an enrolled Yurok Tribal member, she holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of New Mexico School of Law, and was the first California tribal woman to be admitted to the State Bar of California. She was a State Judicial Officer (Commissioner) for the San Francisco Superior Court for over 17 years assigned to the Unified Family Court (Family/Dependency/Delinquency). She retired from the Superior Court in September 2011 and on July 31, 2014 was reappointed as a part-time Commissioner for San Francisco assigned to Dependency, and Duty Judge for that Court where she served until 2015. She has been a Yurok Tribal Court Judge since 1997 and was appointed Chief Tribal Court Judge in 2007, a position she held in conjunction with her Superior Court assignment until 2015.