Indianz.Com > News > ‘A direct assault on tribal sovereignty’: Lawmaker calls for action to address U.S. Supreme Court ruling
Melanie Stansbury
Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-New Mexico). Photo courtesy House Committee on Natural Resources, Democrats
Congresswoman Stansbury Statement on Today’s Supreme Court Ruling Undermining Tribal Sovereignty
Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-New Mexico) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta on June 29, 2022.

Stansbury, a new member of the U.S. House of Representatives, serves on the House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States, which is part of the House Committee on Natural Resources, the legislative panel with jurisdiction over Indian issues in the U.S. Congress.

Rep. Melanie Stansbury, Democrat from New Mexico
Today’s decision by the Supreme Court in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta is a direct assault on Tribal sovereignty and core tenets of American Indian law. The Court’s decision that a state government may prosecute crimes committed on Native lands upends years of settled law and legal precedent that date back to the U.S. Constitution, hundreds of treaties, and more than 200 years of statute and case law recognizing the sovereignty of Tribal Nations.

This shocking decision erodes bedrock protections for Tribal sovereignty and has far-reaching implications for Tribal jurisdiction, public safety, and federal resources. Never in American history have we seen a Supreme Court show such blatant disregard for settled law and fundamental rights protected by our Constitution.

This decision cannot stand. Congress must consult with our Tribal Nations to find a meaningful path forward. As Justice Gorsuch noted in his dissent, “a more ahistorical and mistaken statement of Indian law would be hard to fathom.”

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta
Syllabus | Opinion [Kavanaugh] | Dissent [Gorsuch] | Complete Document

U.S. Supreme Court Documents in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta
Questions Presented | Docket Sheet: No. 21-429 | Oral Argument Transcript | Day Call

Syllabus – Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta

Opinion [Kavanaugh] – Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta

Dissent [Gorsuch] – Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta

Full Document – Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta

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