January 23, 2020

Lewis v. Clarke, 137 S. Ct. 1285 (2017): Developments in the Doctrine of Tribal Sovereign Immunity

Kelly A. Rudd

Because Indian Reservations are considered federal enclaves, where the application of state law has significant limitations, “Federal Indian Law” has often been understood as a specialty practice area. But, as tribes have continued to prioritize economic development, tribal governments are increasingly active in off-reservation patterns of commerce. Since tribes have sovereign immunity, unique legal issues can arise. Generally, as sovereigns, tribes are immune from suit, absent a waiver of sovereign immunity.

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