Kirsten Carlson on the Democratic Difficulties of Castro-Huerta

Kirsten Matoy Carlson has published “The Democratic Difficulties of Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta” in New Political Science. Here is the abstract:

The Supreme Court, some commentators argue, is at its most undemocratic since the Lochner Era in the 1930s. They point to the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which departs from public opinion on abortion and longstanding constitutional precedence. Dobbs, however, is not an outlier. The Supreme Court made a similar move in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta. The majority opinion questioned almost 200 years of constitutional interpretation and several decades of congressional policy to enable state governments to exercise criminal authority over non-Indians in Indian Country. This article compares the majority opinion in Castro-Huerta to congressional policy to explore the democratic and constitutional difficulties that can arise when the Supreme Court refuses to defer to Congress—the democratically elected and constitutionally appointed institution for making federal Indian policy. It reveals how the Court’s undemocratic turn extends beyond cases involving individual rights.