Opinion: Sovereign immunity under full frontal attack
"The first two parts of this series focused primarily on pre-litigation strategies involving the use of tribal immunity as a nation-building tool. This third and final part provides defensive alternatives to asserting sovereign immunity in lawsuits against tribal governments and/or their businesses, officers or employees.

Simply put, tribes can no longer assert immunity in knee-jerk reaction to lawsuits against them. Why? Because once a tribal government files a motion to dismiss on tribal immunity grounds, the tribe cedes its - and Indian country's - control over tribal sovereign rights to the judicial system, probably a state or federal judiciary and very possibly the U.S. Supreme Court, which has not taken kindly to tribes in recent years. And relinquishing such power to the non-tribal judiciary is how the next disastrous ruling for Indian country will come about.

The next time your tribe is sued, consider the following ways tribes can exercise tribal sovereignty by pursuing alternatives to asserting tribal immunity - alternatives that could both protect the tribe and its treasury in the short term and preserve tribal sovereignty and immunity for the future.

Indian people do not say or express ''goodbye.'' We say, ''See you next time.'' Let's do what we can to avoid waiving goodbye to tribal immunity so Indian country will have its protection next time - perhaps when we need it the most."

Get the Story:
Gabriel Galanda: Defending against attacks on tribal sovereign immunity (Indian Country Today 6/15)

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