Course Details

American Indian Law

Obviously, Federal Indian law is relevant to those with an interest to our indigenous population. Less obvious, however, is the importance of rulings in the field for law more broadly defined. For example, Justice John Marshall's opinions in the so-called Cherokee cases of the early 1800s were foundational in determining the obligation of states to abide by decisions of the Supreme Court. An understanding of Federal Indian law is similarly crucial for anyone advising investors whose capital is to be connected even in tenuous ways with Indian reservations. This offering is an even-handed and sympathetic though non-sentimental approach investigating not merely relevant case law and statutes, but also historical and economic events relevant to the evolution of legal distinctions uniquely applicable to American Indians, and to non-Indians while within reservation boundaries. Reservations governments enjoy a degree of sovereignty roughly comparable to that of state governments. Yet many reservations have populations comparable to those of towns or counties; the largest reservation population (the Navajo) is much less than that of the least populous state (Wyoming). Those size / sovereignty differences have legal ramifications with significant impact on the rate and level of development of reservation economies. Discussion will focus on those impacts while considering the fundamental nature of sovereign power, treaty rights, land claims, the applicability of corporate models to Indian tribes, the legal underpinnings of the concept of jurisdiction, the power of individual states when the federal government fails to exercise its plenary powers explicitly, and the ability of a sovereign to contract with respect to its power to tax. Grading by attendance, participation, two in-class examinations, weekly one-page abstracts of assigned reading REQUIRED TEXTS Carole Goldberg, Rebecca Tsosie, Kevin K.Washburn, and Libby Rodke Washburn, American Indian Law: Native Nations and the Federal System 6th ed. LexisNexis (2010) Carole Goldberg, Kevin K. Washburn & Philip P. Frickey (eds), Indian Law Stories [ISBN 978-1-59941-729-5] Selected journal articles


Catalog Number: CONPUB 633
Practice Areas: Comparative Law Practice AreaConstitutional Law & ProcedureLaw and Social Science
Additional Course Information: 1 Draft degree req may be met with class


Course History

Spring 2014
Title: American Indian Law
Faculty: Haddock, David D.
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 0



Fall 2011
Title: American Indian Law
Faculty: Haddock, David D.
Section: 1     Type: Seminar     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 65     Actual: 7