GUIDE FOR AMERICAN INDIAN STUDIES (AIS) 102
Getting Started | Treaties | Statutes and Legislation | Tribal Law | Administrative | More Research | Citing Legal Materials
Finding the Full-text of Supreme Court Cases
Student researchers should first rely on secondary sources or finding tools to locate information on United States Supreme Court cases of interest to them.
Secondary sources are not the text of the court's opinion itself, but rather are books or sources that organize the cases topically and help explain, analyze, or comment on the law.
Finding tools include indexes or digests of the law by topic.
These sources are a time-saver and will help the student rapidly find an interesting case and then note the name and citation (volume, reporter, and page). Locating the volume, reporter name, and page number allows the student to know where to go to find the actual court opinion in full-text.
Palomar College Library has several good secondary sources on Indian Law, indexes, and digests of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Some examples are:
Canby, Jr., William C. American Indian Law in a Nutshell. 4th ed. St. Paul, MN: Thomson/West, 2004. (KF8205 .Z9 C36 2004 Reference)
Cohen, Felix S. Felix S. Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law. 1942. Charlottesville, VA: Michie, 1982. (KF8205 .C6 1982 Reference)
Getches, David H., Charles F. Wilkinson, and Robert A. Williams, Jr.
Cases and Materials on Federal Indian Law. 5th ed. St. Paul, MN:
(KF8204.5 .G47 2005 Reference)
"Indians." Corpus Juris Secundum. St. Paul, MN: West, 1936. (KF154 .C56 V. 42, Legal Reserve Collection)
"Indians." United States Supreme Court Digest, 1754 to Date: Covering Every Decision of the Supreme Court of the United States From Earliest Times to Date. St. Paul, MN: West, 1943. (KF101.1 .U55, Legal Reserve Collection)
Janousek, Kelly S.
United States Supreme Court Decisions, 1778-1996: An
Index to Excerpts, Reprints, and Discussions, 1980-1995. Lanham, MD:
Scarecrow Press, 2001. (KF101.6 .G83 2001 Reference) View index under Indians or Native Americans.
Johnson, John. W.
Historic U.S. Court Cases, 1690-1990: An Encyclopedia.
New York: Garland, 1992. (KF385 .A4 J64 1992 Reference)
Several cases on Native Americans are listed in the index of this volume.
Price, Monroe E. Law and the American Indian; Readings, Notes, and Cases. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1973. (KF8205 .P69 Stacks)
Locating the Text of the Case
Once the student researcher finds an United States Supreme Court case to locate, he or she should note the full name of the case and any citation strings that follow the name of the case. United States Supreme Court cases may be published in a number of books and also may be found online at many websites. In general, U.S. Supreme Court citations look like the following:
California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, 480 U.S. 202, 107 S.Ct. 1083, 94 L.Ed.2d 244 (1987).
This citation tells us the name of the case (California v. Cabazon), the year the decision was rendered (1987), and the volume, title, and page number of the text.
Supreme Court cases are located in three separate sets of books: United States Reports (abbreviated U.S.); Supreme Court Reporter (abbreviated S.Ct.); and, United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers' Edition (abbreviated L.Ed. or L.Ed.2d). Palomar College Library has a set of the Supreme Court Reporter located in Legal Reserves at KF101 .A322. The case mentioned above would be found in the Supreme Court Reporter at volume 107, page 1083. If the student only has the United States Reports volume and page number they may still locate the case using the Supreme Court Reporter as the volume numbers for the United States Reports are on the spine of all of the reporter sets.
The full-text of United States Supreme Court decisions may also be located in some alternative sources at Palomar College Library or online. Some suggested sources are:
Decisions of the United States Supreme Court. 1963-2001. Rochester, NY: Lawyers Co-operative Pub. Co., 1964. (KF101.6 .L3 Reference)
Washburn, Wilcomb E. The American Indian and the United States; A Documentary History. V. 4, Judicial Decisions 1823-1973. New York: Random House, 1973. (E93 .W72 Reference)
Findlaw has access to Supreme Court decisions from 1893 to the present day. Users can search by year, case name, text, or citation. http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html
OTHER SOURCES OF AMERICAN INDIAN LAW
A Chronological List of Treaties and Agreements Made by Indian Tribes With The United States. Washington: Institute for the Development of Indian Law, 1973. (E78 .I68 1973 Reference)
Deloria, Vine, Jr. & Raymond J. DeMallie. eds. Documents of American Indian Diplomacy: Treaties, Agreements, and Conventions, 1775-1979. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999. (KF8202 1999 2 vols. Pauma Library)
Kappler, Charles J. ed. Indian Affairs. Laws and Treaties. New York: AMS Press, 1972. (KF8203 1972, 7 vols. Reference) This set is also available online in full text at the Oklahoma State Library at http://digital.library.okstate.edu/kappler/
United States. A Compilation of All The Treaties Between the United States and the Indian Tribes, Now In Force As Laws. Washington: GPO, 1873. (E95 .U6 1873 Reference).
Avalon Project: Treaties between the United States and Native Americans 1778-1868 http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/ntreaty/ntreaty.htm
United States Statutes at Large at the Library of Congress, v. 7 includes treaties from 1778-1842 and vol. 16, a list of additional treaties http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llsl&fileName=007/llsl007.db&recNum=6
Statutes and Legislation
Thomas: Public Laws, 1989-present (full text), summaries from 1973-forward http://thomas.loc.gov/bss/d109/d109laws.html
GPO Access: Public and Private Laws, 1995-present http://www.gpoaccess.gov/plaws/index.html
United States Code, Title 25, Indians (Cornell) http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/25/usc_sup_01_25.html
FedLaw, Native American Laws http://www.thecre.com/fedlaw/legal22x.htm
Avalon Project: Statutes of the United States Concerning Native Americans 1789-1887 http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/statutes/native/namenu.htm
Statutes at Large, 1937 to present located in print at Cal State San Marcos Library, Government Documents Collection at AE 2.111 and online at the San Diego County Public Law Library, Vista, CA.
National Indian Law Library/Tribal Law Gateway http://www.narf.org/nill/triballaw/index.htm
National Tribal Justice Resource Center http://www.tribalresourcecenter.org/tribalcourts/codes/default.asp
Wisconsin State Law Library Sources on Tribal Law and Government http://wsll.state.wi.us/triballaw.html
Administrative Rules and Opinions
Title 25, Code of Federal Regulations pertains to Native Americans. Access the text of the current and prior CFRs at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html
Opinions of the Solicitor of the Interior Relating to Indian Affairs 1917-1974 http://thorpe.ou.edu/sol_index_abc.htm
Decisions of the Interior Board of Indian Appeals http://www.ibiadecisions.com/
MORE LEGAL RESEARCH ON THE WEB
CITING LEGAL MATERIALS IN APA STYLE
US Supreme Court Opinion Basic form:
Name v. Name. Vol. number U.S. Page number. (Year).
US Supreme Court Opinion example:
United States v. Lane, 474 U.S. 438 (1986).
Public law (statute) basic form:
Name of Act, Pub. L. No. Number , § Section number, Volume number Stat. Page number.
Public law (statute) example:
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336, §2, 104 Stat. 328 (1991).