Turtle Talk: New Justice Breyer book discusses Cherokee cases
"Justice Breyer’s new book on constitutional law, Making Our Democracy Work, includes an entire chapter on the Cherokee cases. Justice Breyer long has invoked the plight of the Cherokees in talks he has given at various law schools and elsewhere.

Likely, the story of Worcester and the Cherokees is well known by the readers of this blog, and Justice Breyer’s rendition is largely accurate and respectful. He is certainly sympathetic to the Cherokees. But Justice Breyer uses the Cherokee cases within the framework of his overall thesis in Making Our Democracy Work — the Cherokee cases serve as a warning to the modern Court about the limits of the Court’s power.

Readers of the book familiar with federal Indian law might scratch their heads wondering why the Cherokee cases are used in this way. If anything, federal Indian law post-1832 mostly has been used as a cudgel against the constitutional and property rights of Indian Country.

Justice Breyer utilizes the Cherokee cases (mostly Worcester v. Georgia) as an example of how the American public came to view the Supreme Court as an institution worth respecting and obeying."

Get the Story:
Justice Breyer on the Cherokee Cases (Turtle Talk 10/7)