Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Menominee Tribe of Indians v. United States case brief summary

171, SCOTUS (1968)
  • Menominee terminated by an act that did not speak to hunting and fishing rights. 
    • Does tribal termination also terminate hunting and fishing rights to reservation area?
      • Hunting and fishing free of state control
  • SCOTUS held that those rights were reserved because the same committee passed PL 280, which provides for the preservation of those rights.
    • Rely on canon of in pari materia – the read them together
    • Congress may only abrogate treaty rights when it explicitly says it is doing so
  • This is kind of a crazy case
    • After termination, does Indian Country even EXIST anymore in any meaningful sense?
    • They had two bills that would have preserved treaty rights explicitly and didn’t pass them
    • BUT this can be seen as a really extreme example of the idea that treaty rights can’t be abrogated without a clear statement.

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