Dollar General Ruling Shows New Justice Crucial For Tribes

By Andrew Westney (June 23, 2016, 10:07 PM EDT) -- Native American advocates breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when a deadlocked U.S. Supreme Court thwarted Dollar General's attempt to avoid facing sexual assault tort claims in tribal court, but whoever replaces the late Justice Antonin Scalia will likely determine the approach the high court takes on the scope of tribal authority going forward.

The high court's 4-4 ruling let stand a Fifth Circuit decision that a Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians tribal court could hear a sexual assault case brought by a former underage tribe member, who was part of an internship program at an on-reservation Dollar General store. The...

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