Indian Tribes.

Within the terms of Article III, an Indian tribe is not a foreign state and hence cannot sue in the courts of the United States. This rule was applied in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia,1197 where Chief Justice Marshall conceded that the Cherokee Nation was a state, but not a foreign state, being a part of the United States and dependent upon it. Other passages of the opinion specify the elements essential of a foreign state for purposes of jurisdiction, such as sovereignty and independence.


30 U.S. (5 Pet.) 1, 16–20 (1831). back