The Law of American Indians Posts

Predicting Supreme Court Behavior in Indian Law Cases

Since 1959 the Supreme Court has heard an average of 2.6 Indian law cases each term out of a recent average of approximately 80 cases. This paper attempts to identify which factors may be influencing the outcome of Indian law opinions by creating a new dataset of 156 Indian law cases and testing twelve potentially explanatory variables using logistic regression analysis.

Tribal Powers over Nonmembers – Part 2

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This is the second post that presents the Sections from the 2018 American Indian Law Annual Meeting draft that deals with tribal powers over nonmembers. The previous post presented the Black Letter and Comments from § 34, Civil Regulatory and Adjudicatory Authority over Nonmembers.

Tribal Powers over Nonmembers – Part 1

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In the American Indian Law project draft that will be presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting, two Sections deal with tribal powers over nonmembers – § 34, Civil Regulatory and Adjudicatory Authority over Nonmembers and § 35, Tribal-Court Exhaustion Rule. This is the first of two posts that present the Black Letter and Comments from the draft.

Senate bills would expand tribal jurisdiction

Language in a bill currently going through the Senate states, “Congress finds that American Indian children and Alaska Native children experience PTSD at a rate of 22 percent, which is the same rate at which Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans experience PTSD.” Several bills have been introduced during this Congress to help combat that staggering rate and, at the same time, increase tribal jurisdiction in several other areas.

When Patents are Sovereigns: The Competitive Harms of Leasing Tribal Immunity


Under the Hatch-Waxman and America Invents Acts, Congress has established a system for judicial and administrative review of prescription-drug patents that balances exclusive rights for patent holders and the entry of generic competitors. Threatening this balance, the pharmaceutical company Allergan recently transferred prescription drug patents to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, a federally recognized Indian tribe. Because tribal sovereign immunity limits the jurisdiction of courts and other adjudicatory bodies to hear cases involving tribal interests, such actions by brand-name pharmaceutical companies may prevent generic companies and other parties from invalidating patents, likely leading to higher drug prices.