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Native American Law

The seminar course will survey the field of American Indian law, tracing its development from Chief Justice Marshall's historic Trilogy cases in the early 1800s to the present.  The primary focus will be on the special legal status of Native American Nations, of which there are over 560, in the American federal system of government. One aspect of investigation is the extent to which Native American Nations have retained their inherent sovereignty in the American federal system which allocates tribal, federal, and state power. Several specific areas of American Indian law such as civil and criminal jurisdiction in tribal courts, economic development in Indian Country and environmental regulation will be discussed.