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Statutory interpretation

1999

Indigenous, Indian, and Aboriginal Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 …


Interpreting Indian Country In State Of Alaska V. Native Village Of Venetie, Kristen A. Carpenter Jan 1999

Interpreting Indian Country In State Of Alaska V. Native Village Of Venetie, Kristen A. Carpenter

Publications

According to federal Indian law's canons of construction, statutes enacted for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives must be liberally interpreted in their favor. But a doctrine of statutory interpretation presently challenges certain applications of the Indian canons. Announced by the Supreme Court in Chevron, U.S.A. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., the doctrine requires that courts defer to administrative agency interpretations of ambiguous language in statutes they are authorized to administer. In instances where agencies construe statutes against Indian interests, Chevron deference and the Indian canons dictate opposite results for a reviewing court. This conflict muddles Indian …