Greg Ablavsky’s Further Thoughts on the Indian Affairs Powers of Congress

Gregory Ablavsky has posted “Further Thoughts on the Constitutional History of Federal Power Over Indian Affairs” on SSRN.

The abstract:

This short piece builds on my earlier response to Robert Natelson’s purported “cite check” of my 2015 Yale Law Journal article by addressing some of the arguments in his new Federalist Society Review article. It argues 1) that Natelson misinterprets Federalist 42, 2) that colonial-era regulations of Indian trade support a quite broad scope for the law merchant, and 3) that Natelson mischaracterized my methodology while making some odd methodological choices of his own. It also briefly offers some new evidence on the historical scope of federal authority in Indian affairs that further supports an interpretation of the meaning of “commerce with the Indian tribes” that encompasses intercourse.

Coverage of Rep. Elect Peltola’s Win

Alaska elected its first Alaska Native to represent it in Congress. Rep. Elect Peltola is Yup’ik and grew up in Bethel, Alaska. A few things to note–this was a special election to replace Rep. Young, so there will be another election in November for the regular election. This was also Alaska’s first use of ranked voting and an open primary, something that many democratic reformers believe is a fairer process for elections.

House Resources/Indigenous Peoples Subcommittee Hearing Today


Legislative: Hearing on Tribal-Related Legislation – Including RESPECT Act and Stop Act

Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United StatesDate: Thursday, May 20, 2021Add to my CalendarTime: 12:00 PMPresiding: The Honorable Teresa Leger Fernández, Chair

On Thursday, May 20, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. EDT, the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States (SCIP) will host a virtual, fully remote legislative hearing on the following tribal-related legislation:

  • H.R. 2930 (Rep. Leger Fernández), To enhance protections of Native American tangible cultural heritage, and for other purposes, STOP Act of 2021.
  • H.R. 438 (Rep. Young), To amend the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act to extend the deadline for a report by the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children, and for other purposes.
  • RESPECT Act [discussion draft] (Rep. Raúl Grijalva), To prescribe procedures for effective consultation and coordination by Federal agencies with federally recognized Indian Tribes regarding Federal Government actions that impact Tribal lands and interests to ensure that meaningful Tribal input is an integral part of the Federal decision-making process.

Witness List

The Honorable Brian D. Vallo (H.R. 2930) (testimony)


Pueblo of Acoma

Acoma, NM

Ms. Stacy Leeds (Discussion Draft – RESPECT Act) (testimony)

Professor of Law and Leadership

ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Phoenix, AZ

Mr. Matthew L.M. Fletcher (Discussion Draft – RESPECT Act) (testimony)

Director & Professor of Law

Indigenous Law and Policy Center

Michigan State University College of Law

Ann Arbor, MI

Ms. Lauren van Schilfgaarde (Discussion Draft – RESPECT Act) (testimony)


Tribal Legal Development Clinic

UCLA School of Law

Los Angeles, CA

Mr. Robert Gallegos (H.R. 2930) (testimony)


Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association PO Box 45628

Rio Rancho, NM 87174

Cherokee Nation Reservation Boundaries Case out of the Oklahoma Court of Last Resort

We also find this District Court appropriately applied McGirt to determine that Congress did establish a Cherokee Reservation and no evidence was presented showing that Congress explicitly erased or disestablished the boundaries of the Cherokee Reservation or that the State of Oklahoma had jurisdiction in this matter.

Hogner v. State of Oklahoma


Hogner Brief

State Brief

Hogner Supplemental Brief

State Supplemental Brief

Cherokee Nation Amicus Brief