Rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court as They Affect the Powers and Authorities of the Indian Tribal Governments, Hearing Before the Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate. One Hundred Seventh Congress, Second Session on Concerns of Recent Decisions of the U.S Supreme Court and the Future of Indian Tribal Governments in America, February 27, 2002   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the opening statement of Daniel K. Inouye: "Although Federal policies have vacillated and congressional acts have reflected those changes in policy, beginning in 1934 with the enactment of the Indian Reorganization Act, and reinforced in 1970 with the establishment of the Federal Policy of Native Self-Determination and Tribal Self-Governance, two of the three branches of the U.S. Government have consistently acted in concert to reaffirm the legal status of Indian tribal governments as sovereign governments. We are here today because there is a third branch of the U.S. Government, the Judicial Branch, that appears to be headed in a decidedly different direction than the other two branches of the National Government. If there were a few aberrations from the Supreme Court precedent and Federal statutory law, one might not have cause for concern, but those that study the law and the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court instruct us that the Court is on a steady march to divest native governments of their governmental powers and authorities. Principles long and well-established, such as the fact that tribal governments retain all of their inherent sovereign powers and authorities not relinquished by them in treaties or abrogated by an express act of the Congress, appear to have been cast aside. The fundamental principle that tribal governments have authority to exercise jurisdiction over their territory, just as other governments do, is being steadily eroded by the Court's rulings." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Ron Allen, Robert Anderson, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, William C. Canby, Jr., David Getches, Daniel K. Inouye, John St. Clair, Robert Yazzie, and Maria Cantwell.

Report Number:
S. Hrg. 107-338; Senate Hearing 107-338
Public Domain
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