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42 Hum. Rts. 20 (2016-2017)
[Dis]Respecting the Role of Tribal Courts

handle is hein.journals/huri42 and id is 78 raw text is: 







































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BY  Stacy ILeeds


             ribal courti in the United
             States are referred to as
             the  Whird banch  of the
             hird sovereng.   Placing
themtby   stature a the botton of the
hierarchy of judicia sstersithin  our
federal Unio.   Tribal judges ternain
nearky fvisile  5 asft Of the A mercan
judicia lte3rnity with the role of tIN-
ai judiciar~yoferasnesodun
dervalurd  or     unmply unknown within
m~azinstr-eam :  c.rr ke.
    in the formai j`drv! opinons   of
state and VrA  courts ra Kourt
power   and, autonony   cause  trepi-
dation. The  LES. tuprerne Court  has
Quationeds  ni notosoubtle terms, the
fa imess and ohbiectivity offtribal iustlice


:ysterns. These rautionr-ary approaches
to tribal court power are rarely based
on  allegations of  lu  nrocea  mid-
oots in   the cases  at hand., but on
specuation  that Iuture rtigants might
someday   encounter  civil liberty in-
f   rin gemnentshouhd judkcial authority
Rehi   Y embraced.
   The  la c of fkith in Ial courts s
oypically limited to situatmons involv-
ing nornandon tigat1s. 0ibai   court
jurislction  is geerally  respected
wmen  the underlyn   sontroveMWes I are
considered wholly  intra-tribat, For in.
stae  tO ibal courts ae perc:ived to be
the approprate judicia forum for tribal
polti    qu'c estions o int ernaf faril y
law questions. When tribes attempt to


exercise civil dudicatorv jurisdiction
over conttctIs di'utes  trId comrmrer-
claIdai  riin'ovr.nt  non-indlans or
troniniai  I bu.'.hessiilitie veiy little
deverenre is afforded. Pr o'trcted legal
battles cha leging  triba: jurisdiction
is the  n   lrev in cases in limbo for
years as the cases are uly exhausted.
   Due  to myriad  feeral  laws that
span two  centuries, tribal courts rou-
tinehi exercise a nimte fixrn of cAim
nal urisdiction over Attran   WndIas,
including iMdividIs  who are not triba
citizens of the prosecuting tribal gov-
emnent.   in the Prosecution of these
cases, defendants in triba forums e-
joy both the due pro:esspi tedtions of
the relevant tribal law and the federal

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