The Law of American Indians Posts

Persisting Sovereignties

This article explores two consequences of tribes’ status as “states” and “nations” under international law during the early Republic.

U.S. Supreme Court Adds Two Cases on Native American Law and Issues Two Opinions Granting Police Officers Qualified Immunity

The Supreme Court on Monday morning added two new cases, both involving Native Americans, to its docket for this term. The justices also issued two unsigned decisions holding, without oral argument, that police officers are entitled to qualified immunity from lawsuits accusing them of using excessive force. The justices, however, did not act on several of the high-profile petitions that they considered at their private conference last week.

On Power & the Law: McGirt v. Oklahoma

This Essay aims to translate federal Indian law and the success of McGirt in order to demonstrate the broad purchase of these lessons for understanding the relationship between power and law, as well as for theories of legal change more generally.

Tribal Pardons: A Comparative Survey

This paper surveys American Indian tribal justice systems to assess whether collateral consequences attach to convictions and whether a pardon or expungement process exists to remove tribal convictions.

Court unanimously holds that Indian tribes retain the inherent power to police non-Indians

In its first major opinion on the scope of American Indian tribes’ sovereign powers in decades, the Supreme court held on Tuesday in United States v. Cooley that tribal governments — and thus their police officers — have the power to search and temporarily detain non-Indians suspected of breaking federal or state laws within reservations.

Actions Taken at the 2021 Annual Meeting (May Session)

The first segment of this year’s virtual Annual Meeting adjourned last week. Below is a summary of the actions taken on May 17 and 18. All approvals by the membership at the Annual Meeting are subject to the discussion at the Meeting and the usual editorial prerogative.

Restatement of the Law of American Indians Is Approved

ALI members voted at The American Law Institute’s Annual Meeting to approve Restatement of the Law, The Law of American Indians. This is the first Restatement on this important area of law. The project Reporters are Matthew L.M. Fletcher and Wenona T. Singel, both of Michigan State University College of Law, and Kaighn Smith, Jr. of Drummond Woodsum.

Completing an ALI Project: Lessons from Reporters

Have you ever wondered what exactly goes into completing an ALI project? There’s nobody better to talk about the ALI process than four veteran Reporters whose projects may be completed at the 2021 Annual Meeting.