Opinion: Sovereign immunity under full frontal attack

"Tribal sovereign immunity - the legal principle that Indian tribal governments, like other sovereigns, may not be sued without their own consent - is under a full frontal attack. Consider these passages from recent federal and state court opinions:

Tribal immunity is ''divorced from the realities of the modern world.''

''[H]opefully [tribes] will eventually conclude that this litigation tactic [of asserting sovereign immunity] is not the best policy to promote a profitable business.''

''[T]he constitutional right of the State to preserve its republican form of government trumps the common law doctrine of tribal immunity.''

Unless Indian country reacts to such scathing judicial indictments through more strategically thought-out assertions of sovereign immunity, tribal governments will lose that right and the ability to develop reservation economies without the threat of ruinous lawsuits."

Get the Story:
Gabriel Galanda: Defending against attacks on tribal sovereign immunity (Indian Country Today 6/1)