Washington Law Review


In describing the subject of my lecture to Dean Fletcher of this law school, I said that it would deal with two questions: Are the fundamental assumptions underlying the special status of Indian tribes changing? If so, what will be the effect of those changes? I considered simply saying that the answer to the first question is "no" and that the answer to the second question is therefore "none." It would make a mercifully short lecture. Unfortunately, however, my review of legal developments over the past several years, particularly the decisions of the United States Supreme Court, convinces me that at least some of the fundamental assumptions underlying federal Indian law are changing, and that those changes are having and will continue to have substantial effects. [This lecture was presented as the 1986 Jurisprudential Lecture, sponsored by the University of Washington School of Law and the Washington Law Review and made possible by a grant from the Evans Bunker Memorial Fund.]

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