Case Summary Citation

Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, 134 S. Ct. 2025, 82 USLW 4398 (2014)


Justice Kagan’s gambling metaphors aside, Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community stands as a resolute affirmation of the Supreme Court’s refusal to qualify tribal sovereign immunity absent congressional action. Bay Mills reaffirms that as domestic dependent nations, tribes exercise inherent sovereign immunity, qualified only by the clear direction of Congress, not the Court. While the dissent vented its frustration with the precedent relied on by the majority, the Court reaffirmed that tribal sovereign immunity extends to all commercial activities occurring off Indian land.

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