A potentially precedent-setting Indian rights case will go unresolved now that the Oregon man at the center of the lawsuit has died, according to a federal attorney.
Nathan Jim Jr., 33, shot himself Friday on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in central Oregon, police said.
Jim, a Yakama Nation activist, had challenged the federal Eagle Protection and Endangered Species acts saying the laws infringed on rights by preventing him from harvesting eagles for use in religious ceremonies.
Jim’s argument was rejected by U.S. District Court in Portland and had been sent to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for consideration.
With his death, the case will be dismissed, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Ross said.
“I sure hate to see it end like this,” Ross said.
“It’s too bad that Nathan felt so cornered that he had to do that to himself.”