By David E. Wilkins
"Like the miner's canary, the Indian marks the shift from clean air to poison gasoline in our political surroundings; and our remedy of Indians, much more than our remedy of alternative minorities, displays the increase and fall in our democratic faith," wrote Felix S. Cohen, an early specialist in Indian felony affairs. during this ebook, David Wilkins charts the "fall in our democratic religion" via fifteen landmark circumstances during which the best court docket considerably curtailed Indian rights. He deals compelling facts that superb court docket justices selectively used precedents and proof, either old and modern, to reach at judgements that experience undermined tribal sovereignty, legitimated vast tribal land losses, sanctioned the diminishment of Indian non secular rights, and curtailed different rights to boot. those case studies--and their implications for all minority groups--make vital and troubling studying at a time while the very best court docket is on the vortex of political and ethical advancements which are redefining the character of yankee executive, reworking the connection among the felony and political branches, and changing the very which means of federalism.
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Extra resources for American Indian Sovereignty and the U.S. Supreme Court: The Masking of Justice
American Indian peoples make up less than one percent of the nation’s population, slightly fewer than two million. 1 But although tribal nations share some socioeconomic characteristics with other minority groups,2 the differences distinguishing tribes from the other groups profoundly exceed any parallels that might be drawn. Tribes enjoy cultural traits and practices which differ from predominant Euro-American cultural characteristics and those common to other ethnic and minority groups. 3 Indigenous nations, in short, fall easily within the purview of the Court as ‘‘discrete and insular’’ groups which sometimes require special protection from discrimination.
In sum, the coupling element for the above characteristics is that 2 Name /T5723/T5723_CH02 20 05/24/01 06:03AM Plate # 0-Composite american indian sovereignty and the supreme court tribal nations still have and exercise a measure of inherent sovereignty. There is, of course, a bewildering array of interpretations of the nature and extent of tribal sovereignty. But, as Chaudhuri notes, ‘‘This question like so many others is affected by cultural presuppositions without the beneﬁt of clear formulations of comparative law.
51 The Supreme Court, however, often chose to deny or alter indigenous reality by legitimating federal and, in some cases, state, political goals which aimed at the eradication or transformation of indigenous differentness through the indeterminate language of the law. This study is divided into seven chapters. Chapter 2 analyzes three cases, Johnson v. McIntosh, United States v. Rogers, and The Cherokee Tobacco case. Thematically, these three opinions dealt with aboriginal land title, deﬁned the political status of tribes, provided justiﬁcation for the notion of manifest destiny, and established the historic precedent that Indian treaties could be unilaterally overridden despite objections by any tribal nation.
American Indian Sovereignty and the U.S. Supreme Court: The Masking of Justice by David E. Wilkins