January 28, 2007

Crybaby misunderstands Constitution

Indians forfeited sovereignty when they became US citizens


Rob said...

Which laws are you talking about? The Supreme Court rulings that codified the concept of tribal sovereignty have existed since the 1820s.

Rob said...

Check the timeline? Okay.


1831-1832: Two U.S. Supreme Court cases change the nature of tribal sovereignty by ruling that Indian tribes were not foreign nations, but rather were "domestic dependent nations." As such, both cases provided the basis for the federal protection of Indian tribes, or the federal trust relationship or responsibility.


1882: Ex Parte Crow Dog Supreme Court decision--Crow Dog, a Sioux Indian who shot an killed an Indian on the Rosebud Reservation, was prosecuted in federal court, found guilty, and sentenced to death. On appeal it was argued that the federal government's prosecution had infringed upon tribal sovereignty. The Court ruled that the US did not have jurisdiction and that Crow Dog must be released. The decision was a reaffirmation of tribal sovereignty and led to the passage of the 1885 Major Crimes Act which identified seven major crimes, that if committed by an Indian on Indian land, were placed within federal jurisdiction.


1917: World War I--When the US entered the war, about 17,000 Indians served in the armed forces. Some Indians, however, specifically resisted the draft because they were not citizens and could not vote or because they felt it would be an infringement of their tribal sovereignty.


In 1861 the U.S. Civil War erupts. Many tribes including the Five Civilized Tribes (now living in Oklahoma Territory) side with the Confederacy which promises in return for Indian support to respect Indian sovereignty.

Congress passes the Curtis Act (1898) which mandated allotment of tribal lands in Indian Territory and ended tribal sovereignty in the Territory.

Rob said...

In short, through Supreme Court decisions and Congressional acts, the US government has recognized tribal sovereignty since the 1800s. Subsequent laws may have affirmed or strengthened this sovereignty, but they did not create it.

If you disagree, tell us the specific law(s) you think "created 'sovereignty' for Native 'Nations'." Good luck with your answer.

Rob said...

Well, you didn't cite any authority for your position, but at least you answered the question. That's a start.

Felix Cohen was writing about the principle of Indian sovereignty as the Supreme Court acknowledged it in the 1820s and 1830s. To prove the point, here's another quote from Cohen:

"Indians in this country enjoyed self-government long before European immigrants who came to these shores did. It took the white colonists north of the Rio Grande about 170 years to rid themselves of the traditional pattern of the divine right of king...and to substitute the less efficient but more satisfying Indian pattern of self-government."

--Felix Cohen, "The Legal Conscience"

Rob said...

Here's a refresher course on the so-called Marshall Trilogy. This comes from the American Indian Policy Center by way of The Facts About Native Sovereignty:

The three cases which are known as the Marshall Trilogy are Johnson v. McIntosh (1823); Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831); and Worcester v. Georgia (1832). In Johnson v. McIntosh (1823) the Supreme Court concluded that tribal sovereignty, although impaired by European colonization, cannot be dismissed.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Marshall stated, "In the establishment of these relations [between Europeans and Indians], the rights of the original inhabitants, were in no instance, entirely disregarded. They were admitted to be the rightful occupants of the soil, with the legal as well as just claim to retain possession of it, and to use it according to their own discretion" (Getches, Wilkinson, and Williams, Jr. 1993, 144).

Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831) ruled that Indian tribes were "a distinct political society, separated from others, capable of managing [their] own affairs and governing [themselves]" (Getches et al. 1979, 162).