PREVIEW—United States v. Cooley: What Will Happen to the Thinnest Blue Line?
The Supreme Court of the United States ("Supreme Court") will hear oral arguments in this matter on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. This case presents the narrow issue of whether a tribal police officer has the authority to investigate and detain a non-Indian on a public right-of-way within a reservation for a suspected violation of state or federal law. The lower courts, holding that tribes have no such authority, granted James Cooley’s motion to suppress evidence. The Supreme Court must decide whether the lower courts erred in so deciding. While the issue before the Supreme Court is itself narrow, it has broad implications.