MIL-OSI USA: Congresswoman Stansbury Statement on Today’s Supreme Court Ruling Undermining Tribal Sovereignty


Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Melanie Stansbury (N.M.-01)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—Today, U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury (N.M.-01), a member of the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States, released the following statement condemning the 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta, which casts aside more than two centuries of precedent recognizing Tribal sovereignty:

“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.’”