• Last updated on November 11, 2022

The Supreme Court essentially gutted the 1968 Indian Civil Rights Act that applied most of the U.S. Bill of Rights to Native American tribal governments.

The 1968 Indian Bill of Rights applied most of the U.S. Bill of Rights to Native American tribal governments. The lower federal courts gradually expanded the jurisdiction of the federal courts over Native American affairs, but Martinez reversed much of that expansion. In Martinez, a woman tribe member charged that a tribal membership rule violated the equal protection clause by favoring men. In his opinion for the 7-1 majority, Justice Thurgood MarshallMarshall, Thurgood;Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez[Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez] said a federal cause of action was unnecessary and urged aggrieved Native Americans to appeal to their tribal courts for satisfaction as a way of increasing tribal self-determination. Justice Byron R. White dissented, arguing that the Supreme Court was forcing aggrieved Native Americans to appeal any grievance directly back to the authorities who had violated their rights. The decision had a profound effect in reducing the number of appeals regarding Native Americans to reach the Court.Indian Bill of Rights;Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez[Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez]Native American sovereignty;Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez[Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez]

Indian Bill of Rights

Muskrat v. United States

Native American law

Native American treaties

Categories: History Content