6 thoughts on “Second Turtle Talk Poll: The Most Important Supreme Court Opinions in Indian Law

  1. Rit Bellis March 16, 2009 / 1:42 pm

    In terms of negative impact, Montana and its ugly progeny have been the bain of tribal governmental regulatory authority and civil autonomy for two decades. Montana is the tool the United States Supreme Court has chosen to use in destroying the geo-political integrity of the Tribes.

  2. Gary Pitchlynn March 16, 2009 / 3:21 pm

    I would suggest that this early recognition of the relationship between our tribes and the United States, which relegated the states to a lesser position of authority over tribal governments, lands and people, is the foundation decision upon which we continue to rely on to this very day in our dealings with the United States and our many states.

  3. Gene Geionety March 17, 2009 / 7:39 am

    The Manufactoring Technologies case was one of several lawsuits that the Kiowa Tribe had been envolved in, due to poor leadership and B I A negligence in previous administrations. I was elected to the KBC in July 1996 and given the assignment in October, by tribal resolution, to assist the tribal lawyer as Liaison/Legal Researcher. The state of Oklahoma had always contended that when the reservations were broken up and alloted, it diminished the tribes sovereignty and made it susceptible to state law. The state relied heavily on the Lone Wolf case and other previous decisions to garnish the tribes bank accounts for indebtedness. The final decision not only proved them wrong, but it reaffirmed our sovereignty and reservation boundaries.

    I was taken out of the KBC before we could file counter-suits. Had I been given the chance, we would have been able to re-open the Lone Wolf decision and present the case as he would have, had he been given the oppurtunity in a fair manner.

    Gene Geionety
    former KBC member 1996-98

  4. Klerk March 17, 2009 / 2:36 pm

    Personally, I think Thomas’s concurrence in Lara. It shows, powerfully, the conflicting dichotomy in Indian law, and suggests that the right way to resolve it is treating Indians as fully sovereign.

    Then again, it is tought to classify a 1 man concurrence as being the most important, since it isnt controlling.

  5. Barry March 19, 2009 / 3:50 pm

    Sherrill vs. Oneida Indian Nation of NY is the most damaging case ever to be handed down from the US Supreme Court. The case was won in favor of the Oneida Nation on every level of appeals based on federal law and treaty until the US Supreme Court decided to hear the case. Again this case was won by all lower courts due to Federal and Treaty law. This recent unfavorable decision not only affected the Oneida Indian Nation of NY but affected previously won Supreme Court cases for many other tribes, creating a chain of overturned reversals over previous won Supreme Court cases by this single case loss. This legally unexplained loss only has one humanistic trait to explain the Supreme Court reasoning, RACISUM! A supreme Court justice told our people after the loss, that the Chief Supreme Court Justice came off his death bed (four months at home with terminal disease) to lead the ruling on this Sherrill vs. Oneida case, the first thing Chief Justice Rehnquist said before looking at any legal briefs was WE CAN NOT LET THESE ONEIDAS WIN THIS CASE!!! The second action taken by the Supreme Court in addressing this case was to not open one legal brief, repeat the court did not read or open one legal brief in it decision making process! In stead the court ruled not by Federal or Treaty law but by reasoning lapse of time, which ironically was not a legal argument or brief by opponents in this case. The court previously ruled in mid 1985 that the legal briefs argued by the State of NY and counties of NY in the mid 1985 cases relative to Oneida Indian Nation land cases which the State argued the Oneida Nation waited to long to come before the court (200 years), the State of NY legal brief was thrown out by the Supreme court due to Federal Treaty Law and constitutional law, which by the Constitution of the Untied States, state’s all Treaties are the supreme law of the land and is still the Supreme law of the land and the Oneida Nation Treaty with the United States Still was in existence and recognized by the USA to date for over 200 years. So ironically the supreme court used the legal brief they thru out in mid 1985 which was not a legal brief argued in this recent case of Sherrill vs. Oneida Nation of NY and completely ignored federal Law and Treaty Law and stated the Oneida Nation waited to long to come before this court and they are not able to reside, own by title, regulate, rule, or exercise any Sovereign rights over the Land the Supreme Court ruled in 1985 was illegally take and stolen by the State of NY, again stolen illegally by the State of NY, never ever can this Indian Nation own this State of NY stolen land again! The land the Supreme court ruled was illegally taken by the State of NY can only be occupied by the Oneida Nation if they come before the Department of the Interior and become orphans of the USA and be allowed to ask that the USA to set land aside on behalf of the Oneida Nation as trust land, held on behalf of the Oneida Indian Nation by the USA, to be under federal control and not Sovereign Indian Nation control. The nut shell of explanation is the Supreme Court is directed by law to only intrepid law, not MAKE law, only Congress can make law. The court ignored federal law and constitutional supported treaty and by their direct ruling and action changed law. Only Congress or the President can over ride and correct this well thought out racial ruling. Unfortunately neither care about Native American Indigenous people enough to do so. IT MATTERS NOT Indians have the federal law on their side or even constitutional supported Indian Treaties, the makers of law and the rulers over interoperation of law in America does not protect or enforce protection of Indigenous people in the USA in equal terms, abiding by their own laws! The LAW does not work for Indigenous people in America if the USA wants to exclude them from the highest court system in this country. Simple Racism at it best! Indigenous people are now proven, not considered equal by law or constitution in this century. This is the greatest loss of Indigenous people and yet to be recognized for it true depth of meaning, the loss of this case. There is no justice in America for Indigenous people if the non Indians want to exercise racism. My prayers to the Creator for continued protection from our oppressors for seventh generation yet to come

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