[ Ginsburg ]
[ Stevens ]
The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 200 U.S. 321, 337.
INYO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, et al. v. PAIUTE-SHOSHONE INDIANS OF THE BISHOP COM-
MUNITY OF THE BISHOP COLONY et al.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
1. The Tribe may not sue under §1983 to vindicate the sovereign right it here claims. Section 1983 permits citizen[s] and other person[s] within the jurisdiction of the United States to seek legal and equitable relief from person[s] who, under color of state law, deprive them of federally protected rights. Although this case does not squarely present the question, the Court assumes that tribes, like States, are not subject to suit under §1983. See Michigan Dept. of State v. Will, 491 U.S. 58. The issue pivotal here is whether a tribe qualifies as a claimanta person within the jurisdiction of the United Statesunder §1983. Qualification of a sovereign as a person who may maintain a particular claim for relief depends not upon a bare analysis of the word person,
2. The Tribe has not explained, and the trial and appellate courts have not clearly decided, what prescription of federal common law, if any, enables the Tribe to maintain an action for declaratory and injunctive relief establishing its sovereign right to be free from state criminal processes. This case is therefore remanded for focused consideration and resolution of that jurisdictional question. P. 10.
291 F.3d 549, vacated and remanded.
Ginsburg, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and OConnor, Scalia, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Stevens, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment.