Washington Law Review


The most recent Indian law case before the Supreme Court, California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, involved the rights of states to regulate gambling on federally recognized Indian reservations. The Court ruled in Cabazon that state regulation of tribal gambling operations was not allowed. This Note examines the Court's decision, proposes a more consistent method for application of Public Law 280, and suggests adoption of a new test for Indian law decisions. The balancing test currently used by the Court, which weighs state interests in jurisdiction almost equally against Indian interests, should no longer be used in conjunction with traditional Indian preemption analysis. Instead, Indian preemption analysis should continue to favor tribal interests over state intrusion. Preserving the presumption of Indian sovereignty in federal Indian law will make future opinions more predictable and will contribute to the Indian tribes' efforts to become self-sufficient.

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