American Judges Association


Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 45, Issues 1-2, page 2


Copyright © 2009 American Judges Association. Used by permission.


The special issue begins with Starita’s description of the first US case to give legal recognition to the first Americans as individuals. Although many treaties had been signed (and resigned) with tribes across the nation, the indigenous residents were not considered persons under US law. The case of Standing Bear changed how the courts were to deal with Native American issues, though the legal treatment of Native Americans continues to evolve in American law to this day.

Fletcher examines state and federal court recognition of tribal court criminal convictions. He provides an overview of the constitutional landscape, and summarizes the key cases and developments as the contours of state and tribal cooperation in criminal enforcement matters continue to unfold. He points out particular challenges and issues related to how both state and federal courts handle prior tribal court convictions.