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American Indian Sovereignty and the U.S. Supreme Court : The Masking of Justice

 
 
 
 
American Indian Sovereignty and the U.S. Supreme Court : The Masking of Justice
Author: David E. Wilkins
ISBN 13: 9780292791091
ISBN 10: 292791097
Edition: Univ of Texas PR ed.
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication Date: 1997-01-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 421
List Price: $39.95
 
 

"Like the miner's canary, the Indian marks the shift from fresh air to poison gas in our political atmosphere; and our treatment of Indians, even more than our treatment of other minorities, reflects the rise and fall in our democratic faith," wrote Felix S. Cohen, an early expert in Indian legal affairs.
In this book, David Wilkins charts the "fall in our democratic faith" through fifteen landmark cases in which the Supreme Court significantly curtailed Indian rights. He offers compelling evidence that Supreme Court justices selectively used precedents and facts, both historical and contemporary, to arrive at decisions that have undermined tribal sovereignty, legitimated massive tribal land losses, sanctioned the diminishment of Indian religious rights, and curtailed other rights as well.
These case studies--and their implications for all minority groups--make important and troubling reading at a time when the Supreme Court is at the vortex of political and moral developments that are redefining the nature of American government, transforming the relationship between the legal and political branches, and altering the very meaning of federalism.

Booknews

Reviewing 15 landmark cases between 1823 and 1992, Wilkins (political science and American Indian studies, U. of Arizona) offers evidence that US Supreme Court justices have selectively used precedents and facts, both historical and contemporary, to arrive at decisions that have undermined tribal sovereignty, legitimated massive tribal land losses, sanctioned the diminishment of Indian religious rights, and curtailed other rights as well. Includes a glossary of legal terms, without pronunciation. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.