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Protecting The Sacred Sites Of Indigenous People In U.S. Courts: Reconciling Native American Religion And The Right To Exclude, Kevin J. Worthen
The key to understanding current U. S. caselaw concerning the protection of Native American sacred sites is arguably found in the dissenting opinion of an eighteen-year old case involving not religious freedom, not sacred sites, and not cultural heritage - but the right of Indian tribes to impose severance taxes on non-tribal members who extract oil and gas from tribal lands. In Merrion v. Jicarilla Apache Tribe, Justice Stevens refused to join the majority’s conclusion that the inherent sovereignty of the Jicarilla Apache Tribe included the power to impose such a tax. In his view, a tribe’s authority to ...