George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School

The Future of Tribal Sovereignty: Implications of Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta

Event Details

  • Date:
  • Division: Civil Justice Academy, Tribal Law & Economics Program

Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta upended foundational principles of federal Indian law. The case’s holding was limited to a single-issue: States can prosecute non-Indian criminals who victimize Indians on reservations. However, Justice Kavanaugh’s majority opinion went far beyond the issue in the case and made the sweeping claim, “Since the latter half of the 1800s, the Court has consistently and explicitly held that Indian reservations are ‘part of the surrounding State’ and subject to the State’s jurisdiction ‘except as forbidden by federal law.'” Writing for the four dissenting Justices, Justice Gorsuch countered, “But this declaration comes as if by oracle, without any sense of the history recounted above and unattached to any colorable legal authority. Truly, a more ahistorical and mistaken statement of Indian law would be hard to fathom.” Castro-Huerta unsettled over 200 years of federal law and practice, with as yet unknown implications.  Join TLEP and leading experts in the field of Indian law for a webinar discussion exploring Castro-Huerta’s implications for tribal sovereignty.

Thomas F. Gede, Principal, Morgan Lewis Consulting and Of Counsel, Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP

Brendan V. Johnson, Partner, Robins Kaplan LLP and Former US Attorney for the District of South Dakota

Leonard R. Powell, Senior Associate, Jenner & Block

Moderator: Adam CrepelleAssistant Professor of Law and Director of the LEC Tribal Law & Economics Program, Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University