Separate Sovereigns, Civil Rights, and the Sacred Text: The Legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall's Indian Law Jurisprudence

39 Pages Posted: 9 May 2009 Last revised: 5 May 2015

Rebecca A. Tsosie

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: 1994

Abstract

Traditionally "outsiders" in the American legal system, Indian nations provided a unique challenge to Justice Marshall's larger task of incorporating those who have historically been "voiceless" in the legal process. Justice Marshall saw American Indians as more than mere "racial minorities." His Indian law opinions largely concern the role of Indian nations as separate sovereigns within the federal system. This article will discuss how Justice Marshall "placed" Indian nations within the federal system in the context of the challenges to tribal sovereignty presented by the cases before him. Justice Marshall considered challenges to tribal sovereignty arising in two separate contexts: first, the extent to which tribal sovereignty bars intrusion of state jurisdiction within Indian territory; and second, the extent to which tribal sovereignty is limited by the "overriding sovereignty" of the federal government.

Keywords: Sovereignty, civil rights, American Indians

Suggested Citation

Tsosie, Rebecca A., Separate Sovereigns, Civil Rights, and the Sacred Text: The Legacy of Justice Thurgood Marshall's Indian Law Jurisprudence (1994). Arizona State Law Journal, Vol. 26, p. 495, 1994. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1401601

Rebecca A. Tsosie (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

HOME PAGE: https://law.arizona.edu/rebecca-tsosie

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