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Supreme Court Decisions

Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 1831
By US Supreme Court
Mar 26, 2006, 11:52pm



In 1831 the US Supreme Court issued a decision that defined Native Americans as "domestic dependant nations" instead of foreign nations. This redesignation allowed states, such as Georgia, to disenfranchise Native American tribes of their lands. The Supreme Court refused to intervene stating that the Cherokee Nation didn't have control of their lands, because they were not a foreign nation with sovereignty rights. The "Cherokee Tribe is a state in the sense that it is a "distinct political society," but is not a foreign state within the meaning of Article III of the Constitution. It is more like a "domestic dependent nation" with the relation of the tribe to the Federal government like that of "ward to guardian." The tribes are separate nations within a nation."

Source: US Department of the Interior

Read the Supreme Court Decision on Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 30 U.S. 1 (1831)
Source: Cornell Law School

Read a Brief History of the Cherokee Nation
Source: The Cherokee Nation


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