About the Supreme Court Indian Law Bulletin

Currency: Research is performed each business day during the U.S. Supreme Court session (generally October through the end of June) to locate new case filings, changes in case status and legal opinions. The bulletin is updated each day that relevant information has been retrieved. Email alerts will be sent out on the same day as new information has been published to the web site.

Selection Policy & Process: The National Indian Law Library (NILL) endeavors to retrieve important cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court which deal with a federal Indian law issue. (By "Indian law" we mean cases that deal with the "status of the Indian tribes and their special relationship to the federal government, with all the attendant consequences for the tribes and their members, the states and their citizens, and the federal government" as defined by Judge William Canby, Jr., a well-respected Indian law scholar (Canby, William C., Jr. American Indian Law in a Nutshell, 3rd ed. St. Paul, Minn: West Group, 1998).)

We run searches in the United States Law Week database and in the United States Supreme Court docket database to identify and monitor relevant Indian law related cases. The databases may not contain all cases and the research strategy may not identify every case in the databases. In addition to the search in the United States Law Week and United States Supreme Court docket databases, we monitor the Native American Rights Fund Tribal Supreme Court Project web site, Indian law Internet lists and groups and receive tips on cases from colleagues. During this process, the non-attorney library staff uses its judgment as to which cases should be included in the bulletin. Therefore, this bulletin should not be considered an exhaustive list of cases, should not substitute for independent research and does not constitute legal advice.

Cases involving Native Americans but not related to Indian law are excluded. Occasionally non-Indian law cases will be included if the case outcome will have a major impact on Native Americans. "Related news stories," which accompany some of the cases, are selected based on the criteria set out in the News Bulletin "about" page.

Sources of Information:

See the News Bulletin "about" page for sources of information for "related news stories."

Searching & Browsing Tips: Legal cases are listed in reverse chronological order for each category for the U.S. Supreme Court term. Only this annual term's list of cases will appear on the bulletin. All other cases can be located in the "../archives." Annual and multi-year archives will be developed in the future with subject and/or party name search features.

Archiving: Each US Supreme Court term is archived separately. Annual and multi-year archives are planned for the future with subject and/or party name search features.