Peter d'Errico: Anti-Indian wars continue in our Supreme Court

Representatives of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center share a message at a Dollar General store. Photo from NIWRC

Retired professor Peter d'Errico takes a closer look at Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, a tribal jurisdiction case that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on December 7:
Dollar General corporation (Dolgencorp) wants to escape the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, where the parents of a youth intern are suing Dolgen for sexual abuse of their child by the manager of a Dollar General store on Choctaw land.

The lower courts, from the Choctaw to the federal circuit, all held Dolgencorp subject to Choctaw jurisdiction. Dolgen petitioned the US Supreme Court to review these decisions. The court granted the petition.

Dolgen's attack on Choctaw jurisdiction aims not only at exempting itself from Choctaw courts, but also at exempting all corporations from all Indian courts. Dolgen argues that no Indian Nation has civil jurisdiction over any non-Indian.

Corporations obsess about escaping law. The recent Trans-Pacific Partnership contains a provision allowing multinational corporations to protect corporate "investment expectations" from laws that might interfere with their profit. Companies insert arbitration clauses into consumer contracts, to block consumers from using courts to resolve disputes.

Get the Story:
Peter d'Errico: Dolgencorp v. Choctaw: The Anti-Indian Wars Continue (Indian Country Today 11/24)

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