Mike Myers: Tribal jurisdiction opponents flock to Supreme Court

Sending a message to Dollar General and the U.S. Supreme Court. Photo from Quilt Walk for Justice / Facebook

Who opposes tribal jurisdiction in Dollar General Corporation v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, a case that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday? Mike Myers (Seneca Nation) of the Network for Native Futures looks at the briefs filed by the other side in the closely-watched dispute:
An interesting case has landed in the U.S. Supreme Court: Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The case has churned up an interesting group of supporters of Dollar General, including the states of Oklahoma, Wyoming, Utah, Michigan, Arizona, and Alabama; the South Dakota Bankers Association; the Retail Litigation Center, Inc. a public-policy organization that identifies and contributes to legal proceedings affecting the retail industry; and the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Obviously, there is something about this case that has brought this diverse group together. While they each have a different way of saying it, that something is what they perceive as the threat of Indigenous courts having civil regulatory jurisdiction over how business is conducted in their territories. According to the six states, “… If the decision below is affirmed, the States will become a patchwork of jurisdictions adjudicating tort claims in a disparate manner.”

The problem according to the South Dakota Bankers Association is “The proposition that uncertainty regarding the jurisdictional reach of tribal courts poses potential problems for non-Indians seeking to transact business in Indian country is well-recognized…This is also true, at least in part, because non-members generally cannot vote in tribal elections, and thus can never have a voice in changing procedural rules, substantive law or other matters involving Indian tribunals with which they disagree.”

Whoa, this is shades of Oliphant.

Get the Story:
Mike Myers: Dollar General Garnering Support (Indian Country Today 12/4)

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