Greatest Cases Tournament Round of 16 — Second Series

Here is the next batch:

(3) Ex parte Kan-Gi-Shun-Ca (Crow Dog) (109US556) vs. (14) Bryan v. Itasca County (426US373)

This is a good match-up, with the principles of both cases blending nicely, as one careful commentator observed, to preserve tribal authority to prosecute even in PL280 states. My guess is Crow Dog wins out, if for no other reason that it is older. And no one’s yet written a book about Bryan, as they have with Crow Dog, although it does make a cameo in David Treuer’s new one.

(16) Winters v. United States vs. (11) McClanahan v. Arizona State Tax Commission

Another match-up pitting treaty rights against tax immunity. Tough one. I bet out loud people would say they’d go to the mat over treaty rights than taxes, but in a blind polling situation, true colors shine. I’d say the taxes win this one, even though water rights are irreplaceable. On the other hand there was that symposium dedicated to Winters rights back in 2008.

(2) The Kansas Indians vs. (15) United States v. Wheeler

Well, this one pits taxes against criminal jurisdiction. A real tough match-up. Both are about inherent sovereignty, but Kansas Indians is more on point. We like to think Wheeler affirms tribal authority to prosecute, and it does but only indirectly (the case held that the feds could prosecute someone who had already been prosecuted by an Indian tribe, like United States v. Lara). A toss-up.

(7) Williams v. Lee vs. (23) Solem v. Bartlett

This one may be the biggest mismatch of the Round of 16. Williams is a juggernaut (and a good bet to win the whole thing), and Solem got past the first round only through the courage of our ILPC Fellow, who picked it in a tie-breaker.

2 thoughts on “Greatest Cases Tournament Round of 16 — Second Series

  1. Doug George-Kanentiio September 14, 2012 / 10:00 am

    One of the most disturbing cases is Shenandoah v. Halbritter in which the US Second Circuit held that the Bill of Rights does not apply to Native nations and that said nations may dis-enroll members at will who have no recourse but to appeal the suspensions to the very entity which initiated the actions. This case was denied review by the Supreme Court and has had devastating effects across the country as some Native governments use dis-enrollment to suppress political dissent.

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