Constitution, Court, Indian Tribes


  • Milner S. Ball


We claim that the “constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof… shall be the supreme law of the land.” But we also claim to recognize the sovereignty of Native American nations, the original occupants of the land. These claims—one to jurisdictional monopoly, the other to jurisdictional mu1tiplicity—are irreconcilable. Two hundred years have produced no resolution of the contradiction except at the expense of the tribes and the loss to non-Indians of the Indians' gift of their diflerence. This article explores the bear- ing of American constitutional law upon Native American tribes.