Student Author on Tribal Courts

R. Stephen McNeil, a law student at Washington & Lee, has posted “In a Class by Themselves: a Proposal to Incorporate Tribal Courts into the Federal Court System Without Compromising Their Unique Status as “Domestic Dependent Nations” on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

This Note proposes a solution to the longstanding problem of how to fit tribal courts into the existing federal court system. After setting forth the well-established problems with the current system, the Note discusses the various practical and constitutional problems with classifying Indian tribes as states, foreign nations, administrative agencies, or federal territories. Ultimately, the Note proposes a statutory scheme that is tailored to the unique situation of the Indian tribes by focusing on the competing goals of protecting tribal culture, maximizing tribal sovereignty, and protecting the rights of non-Indians from abuses in tribal courts.

Aside from the hanging modifier in the title, looks like a decent paper. I’m glad to see students from schools that aren’t known for teaching Indian law taking a stab at this field.