VT man moved to
Indian Country without a license in defiance of GA law; GA arrested him
for violating state law. Marshall wrote opinion invalidating GA laws on
two grounds: (1) federal preemption in affairs with Indians and (2)
Indian sovereignty over their lands.
rationales continue to this day, but PREEMPTION is the more vital one,
per a 1976 SCOTUS opinion in which preemption is considered “on the
backdrop of Indian sovereignty.”
Desire for peace was bilateral in Treaty of Hopewell – indicating that Cherokee were a separate political power.
Cession of right to manage affairs doesn’t cede sovereignty, only ability to trade with other nations
Canons of Statutory Construction at Work in Worcester
Ambiguities are resolved in favor on Indians
Interpret the language would be interpreted by Indians
Indians are not responsible for the nuances of terms in treaties
Liberal construction of treaties in favor of Indians
Lasting Principles in Worcester
Trust responsibility to tribes (guardian and ward)
Federal preemption as a bar to state jurisdiction
Indian sovereignty/self-government firmly established
I have often tried to make the cases available as links in case you are a student without a textbook.
All the information on this site is constantly updated and edited. Furthermore, if you have any outlines you want to share, so that others, free of charge, may benefit, please send those to be posted here. Likewise, if you have case briefs you would like to share, please send them to [email protected].
Please keep in mind that this site makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the cases listed here or the current status of law. These cases are derived from class notes and laws change over time. If you have any questions about these materials, or any other legal questions, you should consult an attorney who is a member of the bar of the state you reside in.