Worcester v. State of Georgia

U.S. Supreme Court -- 31 U.S. 530 (1832)

USA Application of laws to AboriginalsDoctrine of discovery

Summary

This American decision had been used by the Supreme Court of Canada since the very beginning of the development of Canadian Aboriginal law. It is one of the famous decisions rendered by the “Marshall court”.

Historically, Indians were considered as nations by Great Britain. A European nation acquired title to Indian lands only if the occupants decided to cede them.

Issue

Are Georgia’s laws in effect on Cherokee territory?


Read More
Johnson & Graham’s Lessees v. M’Intosh

US Supreme Court – 21 U.S. (8 Wheat.) 543 (1823)

USA Aboriginal titleDoctrine of discoveryLands reserved for IndiansProperty

Summary

The decisions rendered by the “Marshall court”, including this one, marked the starting point for a judicial discussion about Aboriginals.

According to the doctrine of discovery, which binds the Aboriginals, the discoverer holds a title to the lands and an exclusive right to acquire Indian lands.

Issue

Does an Indian nation have the capacity to cede parcels of the land they occupied to private individuals?


Read More
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia

Supreme Court of the United States – 30 U.S. 1 (1831)

USA Application of laws to AboriginalsDoctrine of discoveryGovernance (self-determination, self-government)Jurisdiction over Indians

Summary

The Cherokee Nation is subject to the laws of the State of Georgia.

There is no doubt that the Cherokee Nation constitutes a distinct political society. However, the Cherokee Nation cannot be considered “foreign” for the purposes of the US Constitution. As such, it cannot go before the Supreme Court to prevent the State of Georgia from implementing its laws.

Issue

  1. Does the Supreme Court of the U.S. have jurisdiction to hear this case?
  2. If yes, can the state of Georgia be legally restrained from applying its laws on Cherokee territory?


Read More
aller vers le haut