Liz Reese Full Commentary on the Cooley Decision

From SCOTUSBlog here.

An excerpt:

On Tuesday in United States v. Cooley, the Supreme Court upheld a power that tribal governments have long assumed they possessed as a basic necessity of ensuring public safety. The court held that tribal governments — and thus their police officers — retain the power to temporarily stop, and if necessary, search non-Indians traveling on public rights-of-way (highways) through reservations for suspected violations of federal or state laws. The unanimous opinion was authored by Justice Stephen Breyer. The decision represents an important affirmation of tribal inherent sovereign power by the new court and the first time the court has ever found that a tribe’s interest in addressing a threat to its political integrity, economic security, health or welfare was strong enough for the tribe to exert government authority of any kind over a non-Indian.

SCOTUS Reverses in United States v. Cooley

Here is the unanimous opinion from Justice Breyer.

An excerpt:

The question presented is whether an Indian tribe’s police officer has authority to detain temporarily and to search a non-Indian on a public right-of-way that runs through an Indian reservation. The search and detention, we assume, took place based on a potential violation of state or federal law prior to the suspect’s transport to the proper nontribal authorities for prosecution.
We have previously noted that a tribe retains inherent sovereign authority to address “conduct [that] threatens or has some direct effect on . . . the health or welfare of the tribe.” Montana v. United States, 450 U. S. 544, 566 (1981); see also Strate v. A–1 Contractors, 520 U. S. 438, 456, n. 11 (1997). We believe this statement of law governs here. And we hold the tribal officer possesses the authority at issue.

Another excerpt:

More broadly, cross-deputization agreements are difficult to reach, and they often require negotiation between other authorities and the tribes over such matters as training, reciprocal authority to arrest, the “geographical reach of the agreements, the jurisdiction of the parties, liability of officers performing under the agreements, and sovereign immunity.” Fletcher, Fort, & Singel, Indian Country Law Enforcement and Cooperative Public Safety Agreements, 89 Mich. Bar J. 42, 44 (2010).

Here are the briefs and other background materials.

Amicus Briefs Supporting Petitioner in United States v. Cooley

Here:

19-1414 Amici SiouxTribes

19-1414 Amicus Brief of NationalIndigenousWomensResourceCenter

19-1414 Indian Law Scholars Cooley Brief

19-1414 tsac Former U.S. Attorneys

19-1414 tsac Members of Congress

19-1414 tsac The Cayuga Nation

19-1414 Ute Amici Brief

Final NCAI-Tribal Governments Amici Brief-US v Cooley 1-15-21

Other Cooley materials are here.

United States v. Cooley Background Materials

Here are the merits briefs:

Petitioner’s Brief

Respondent Brief

Petitioner’s Reply

Here are the amicus briefs supporting petitioner:

19-1414 Amici SiouxTribes

19-1414 Amicus Brief of NationalIndigenousWomensResourceCenter

19-1414 Indian Law Scholars Cooley Brief

19-1414 tsac Former U.S. Attorneys

19-1414 tsac Members of Congress

19-1414 tsac The Cayuga Nation

19-1414 Ute Amici Brief

Final NCAI-Tribal Governments Amici Brief-US v Cooley 1-15-21

Here are the amicus briefs supporting respondent:

19-1414 Amici Curiae Brief Ninth Circuit Federal Defenders

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Amicus Brief

Here are the cert stage materials:

Cert Petition

NCAI Amicus Brief

NIWRC Amicus Brief

Respondent Brief in Opposition to Petition for a Writ of Certiorari

Cooley Cert Reply

Here are the Ninth Circuit materials:

Ninth Circuit opinion

US Brief

Cooley Brief

Reply

Here are the district court (D. Mont.) materials:

2 Redacted Indictment

34 Motion to Suppress

34-1 Exhibit

41 Response

41-1 Exhibit

41-2 Exhibit

46 Reply

48 DCT Order Granting Motion to Suppress