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Lewis V. Clarke And The Future Of Tribal Immunity

Law360, New York (May 3, 2017, 11:40 AM EDT) -- The Supreme Court ruled recently that an Indian tribe’s sovereign immunity did not extend to a damages claim brought against its employee in his personal capacity, notwithstanding potential indemnification by the tribe, in Lewis v. Clarke.

Lewis marks the second time the court has considered tribal sovereign immunity in the last three years. In 2014, the court decided Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, 134 S. Ct. 2024, 572 U.S. __ (2014). Many observers thought the court would dramatically rewrite the doctrine in Bay Mills, but the court ultimately left its major tenets intact. The court did remark in dicta in...

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