Brief filed: 02/19/2021
United States v. Cooley
United States Supreme Court; Case No. 19-1414
Decision below 919 F.3d 1135 (9th Cir. 2019)
Congress has authorized the Secretary of the Interior to enter into agreements with tribal governments under which tribal law-enforcement officers are certified to enforce generally applicable federal criminal laws in Indian country. By extending to tribal governments the power to enforce generally applicable federal criminal law in Indian country, Congress has exercised its power to delegate law-enforcement authority to the tribes without undermining tribal sovereignty. The government’s fear that special law enforcement commissions will undermine tribal sovereignty is misplaced.
Jon M. Sands (Federal Public Defender) and Keith J. Hilzendeger (Assistant Federal Public Defender), Phoenix, AZ; Barbara Bergman, NACDL, Tucson, AZ.