Tribes worry Supreme Court is eroding sovereignty

Tribes used to look to the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm their rights but now find that it is one of their biggest enemies.

Over the past two decades, the court frequently overturned rulings favorable to tribal interests. One of the worst terms was the 2001-2002 session, when tribes lost cases involving sovereign immunity, jurisdiction and the trust relationship.

The National Congress of American Indians and Native American Rights Fund started a Supreme Court project to turn around that record. Since 2001, very few Indian law cases have been accepted and the court's rulings have not been overly detrimental.

Tribes are also turning to Congress for help in correcting some of the court's negative rulings and restoring their rights.

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High court frustrates Indians (The South Florida Sun-Sentinel 10/15)