US SUPREME COURT RULES INDIGENOUS AMERICAN HAS SOVERIEGNTY OVER NON INDIGENOUS ON THEIR RESERVATIONS
The US Supreme Court today ruled that Indigenous American nations of the US have near total sovereignty over everyone who is on their reservation land whether they re visiting or just passing through.
In United States Supreme Court case United States vs Cooley, Joshue James Cooley was stopped and arrested by Crow reservation police for possession of illegal drugs and a lot of guns in his car.
Cooley was indicted on both the drugs and weapons charges.
Cooley's attornies argued that because Cooley was not Indigenous to the US, Indigenous governments had no jurisdiction over him even if he was on their reservation territory. The district court and the Democrat dominated 9th Circuit had ruled that laws passed by Native Americans do not apply immigrants and other non Indigenous peoples.
Cooley had argued that because he was non Native, the tribe's law enforcement agency had no power to stop or search him.
Experts in US history and government say the ruling goes beyond simple treaty rights to national rights that are not treaty dependent but are inherent in all sovereign communities. Throughout US history, the US Supreme Court has sided with the Indigenous Peoples of the USA in all but 2 or 3 cases. In the first case involving Indigenous Americans, the Court had sided with the Indigenous Americans during the early 19th century but was powerless to enforce its ruling when President Jackson and the state of Georgia chose to ignore the high court's ruling. The result of that was the Trail of Tears.
There were times when, due to the Court's long historic tendency to side with Indigenous Americans, that Congress moved to ban the Court from even hearing cases or appeals that involved any person of Indigenous descent.
One of the exceptions was 1981's Montana vs United States where the Court limited tribal sovereignty over non members traveling on federal owned roads that happen to cut through reservation land. It allowed for two exceptions. The first was when the person had a consensual relationship with the tribe such as an employment contract. The second was when the actions of the person posed a threat to the political integrity, economic security, or health and welfare of the tribe. The US Supreme Court ruled that Cooley's actions were a threat to the tribe's security and political integrity.