Washington Law Review


Eric R. Biggs


This comment analyzes the sources for the tribal preemption doctrine and the application of the doctrine. Because preemption necessarily involves a conflict between entities which seek to assert jurisdiction over the same subject matter, the general contours of jurisdiction over Indians must first be examined. The comment then discusses the federal preemption doctrine in order to explain more fully the aspects of tribal preemption which rest upon federal preemption. After an examination of how tribal preemption is applied in various settings, the comment will briefly look at the possibilities of partial tribal preemption. Finally, the comment concludes that a two-step preemption analysis will allow Indian tribes the freedom from state actions which is essential to tribal development.

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