Tribal Sovereignty In The Marshall Trilogy

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We disagree with the opinions in the Marshall Trilogy because while they recognized tribal sovereignty on a fundamental level, their classification of tribal nations as “domestic dependent nations” allowed blurred jurisdiction over land and criminal cases, issues which would prevail through the nineteenth century. In Johnson v. M’Intosh, the Court ruled that the government, not private citizens, could directly purchase land from Native Americans. The question of the priority of the federal government in negotiating with the Tribal Nations would reemerge multiple times within the century. We believe this ruling to be unfair because it further consolidate power to the federal government and greatly restricted the market for tribal land. In 1831, the Marshall Court first introduced the idea of tribal sovereignty in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia. The Cherokees argued that they were a foreign nation and the laws of Georgia did not apply to them. The federal government argued that they had the “doctrine of federal trust responsibility” to protect the tribes in return for certain favors. The government’s promise to protect the tribes was implemented …show more content…
Georgia, which denounced the state 's’ authority over the Tribal Nations and granted this authority exclusively to the federal government by way of classifying tribal nations as,“Distinct political communities, having territorial boundaries, within which their authority is exclusive.” The court ruled in favor of Worcester claiming that Georgia had no grounds to enforce it’s laws on the Cherokee Nation since their lands were considered to be outside the jurisdiction from the state. This decision extended the reach of the federal government over tribal land, which reinforced the government’s power to delegate rights. The culmination of these cases illustrates that although the tribes were given sovereignty, they were still under strict scrutiny by the federal

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