American Indian Law Deskbook

By Hardy Myers; Clay Smith | Go to book overview

Chapter 7
Tribal Sovereign Immunity and the Indian Civil Rights Act

Indian tribes are unique political entities, and the relation between a tribe and the United States is “perhaps unlike that of any other two people in existence.” 1 They are not foreign nations separate and apart from the United States; instead they are “domestic dependent nations” 2 located within United States territory that have certain retained inherent powers of self-government. 3 Consistent with this quasi-sovereign status, Indian tribes are not parties to the United States Constitution and derive no power or obligations directly from it 4 despite being mentioned twice. 5 Tribes thus are not subject to the limitations on governmental action contained in the Bill of Rights or the Fourteenth Amendment.

This chapter examines two related features of the unique sovereign status of Indian tribes. First, an important incident of such status is a substantial measure of immunity from unconsented suit in any court. Although some members of the United States Supreme Court have questioned the doctrine's propriety, immunity from suit remains an important manifestation of tribal sovereignty, particularly in view of the broad array of governmental and commercial activity in which tribes now engage. 6 Second, in recognition

____________________
1
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 30 U.S. (5 Pet.) 1, 16 (1831).
2
Id.; see generally Chapter 1, part I.A.
3
See generally Chapter 5, part II.
4
E.g., Idaho v. Coeur d'Alene Tribe, 521 U.S. 261, 26869 (1997); Blatchford v. Native Village of Noatak, 501 U.S. 775, 782 (1991).
5
U.S. Const. art. 1, § 2, cl. 3 (excluding “Indians not taxed” from the apportionment formula for congressional representation and taxation purposes); id. art. I, § 8, cl. 3 (Indian Commerce Clause); see generally 1 Francis Paul Prucha, The Great Father: The United States Government and the American Indians 50 (1984) (“the Constitution is meager indeed on the subject of Indians, and what does appear was not the product of long debate”); Robert N. Clinton, The Dormant Indian Commerce Clause, 27 Conn. L. Rev. 1055, 114755 (1995) (detailing the discussion of Indian affairs during the Constitutional Convention). The provision related to “Indians not taxed” became nugatory by virtue of the Fourteenth and Sixteenth Amendments' adoption. Consequently, for modern purposes, the only relevant textual reference is to “Indian tribes” in the Indian Commerce Clause.
6
Kiowa Tribe v. Manufacturing Techs., Inc., 523 U.S. 751, 757—58 (1998); see also Oklahoma Tax Comm'n v. Citizen Band Potawatomi Indian Tribe, 498 U.S. 505 (1991) (Stevens, J., concurring) (characterizing tribal sovereign immunity as “founded upon an anachronistic fiction”).

-229-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
American Indian Law Deskbook
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 634

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.