The Law of American Indians Posts

Criminal Justice in Indian Country: A Theoretical and Empirical Agenda

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Examinations of the Native American experience in the US criminal justice system are still relatively sparse, despite earlier calls for increased attention to Native American crime and justice issues. This is unfortunate, as Native Americans are unique among all groups in US society and face distinctive criminal justice jurisdictional complexities.

Argument Analysis: Justices Grapple With Preclusion and “Occupation” in Crow Tribe Treaty Case

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard argument in its latest foray into Indian treaty interpretation, Herrera v. Wyoming. The case concerns the persistence of the Crow Tribe’s hunting right in the 1868 Second Treaty of Fort Laramie. In an occasionally meandering argument, the Supreme Court repeatedly circled the three issues at the core of the case: issue preclusion, the implications of the court’s holding in its 1999 decision in Minnesota v. Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians, and the meaning of the treaty term “unoccupied.”

October 2018 Council Updates

During its meeting in New York City on October 18 and 19, the ALI Council reviewed drafts for seven Institute projects. Drafts or portions of drafts for six projects received Council approval, subject to the meeting discussion and to the usual prerogative to make nonsubstantive editorial improvements.

Texas Judge Rules Indian Child Welfare Act as Unconstitutional

The Indian Child Welfare Act was dealt a substantial blow on Friday, when a U.S. Federal Judge in the Northern District of Texas ruled the landmark legislation unconstitutional. According to the law, when a Native child is up for adoption, family members, other tribal members, and then other Native homes are to be prioritized for placement. Ample research shows that all children, Native and non-Native alike, have better outcomes when they are raised with family, extended family or in their community over state child welfare systems and foster homes. National child advocacy organizations have praised the act as a gold standard for child welfare. The act is often referred to by its acronym, ICWA.

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