The Rehnquist Court and indigenous rights: The expedited diminution of native powers of governance

David E Wilkins, Keith Richotte

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The U.S. Supreme Court has long played a prominent role in defining, critiquing, and, in some cases, rearranging the political relationship between indigenous peoples and the states and the federal government, and in enlarging or reducing the inherent sovereign status of native peoples. This article assesses the most recent Supreme Court opinions that are systematically, and without reference to judicial precedent, redefining the political status of tribal nations by reducing their heretofore acknowledged sovereign authority from an internal perspective and especially from an intergovernmental standpoint. Although the U.S. Congress still adheres to a policy of tribal self-determination, the Court is dramatically and permanently minimizing the rights of tribes to practice political, economic, and cultural self-determination because in the opinion of a majority of the justices, there are only two sovereigns in the United States: states and the federal government.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-110+164
JournalPublius
Volume33
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

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