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Supreme Court’s Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta Requires Congressional Action, Reaffirmation of Tribal Sovereignty

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress needs to act and reassert Tribal Nations’ sovereignty and self-determination following the egregiously wrong Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta U.S. Supreme Court decision

“The Supreme Court’s disregard for Tribal sovereignty and immense precedent on Indian law is a leap backwards, in centuries, for Tribal Nations and Indigenous communities. The court’s decision subverts sovereignty and disregards the central idea that Tribal Nations are co-equals, not dependents, of states,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “This is the definition of legislating from the bench, and Congress should swiftly intervene to affirm Tribal Nations’ sovereignty and self-governance.”

In his dissent, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch tried to guide the court in the right direction when he noted: “Tribes are not private organizations within state boundaries. Their reservations are not glorified private campgrounds. Tribes are sovereigns. And the preemption rule applicable to them is exactly the opposite of the normal rule.”



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