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Vanderbilt University Law School

1999

Indigenous, Indian, and Aboriginal Law

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The Legend Of "Crow Dog:" An Examination Of Jurisdiction Over Intra-Tribal Crimes Not Covered By The Major Crimes Act, James W. King Oct 1999

The Legend Of "Crow Dog:" An Examination Of Jurisdiction Over Intra-Tribal Crimes Not Covered By The Major Crimes Act, James W. King

Vanderbilt Law Review

Native American tribes present unique problems to American jurisprudence and governance. Unquestionably subject to federal control on some levels, they have maintained the "inherent powers of a limited sovereignty" over internal affairs.' While both the Supreme Court and Congress have recognized this sovereignty, specific Congressional mandate can abrogate it at any time. This Note addresses the question of whether Congress has mandated federal jurisdiction over all serious crimes committed by Indians against other Indians on tribal land.

The story is long and complicated, with its beginnings in the 1883 Supreme Court case Ex parte Crow Dog, in which the Court …