Worcester v. Georgia (1832) found that statutory jurisdiction of native lands was the sole right of the federal government, according to Touro College Law Center. This was a significant case for federalism, which held that states did not have the power to pass laws governing Native Americans.
The case of Worcester v. Georgia was the last of three cases involving tribal sovereignty under the Marshall Court, as explained by the American Bar Association. In a time of political upheaval regarding tribal sovereignty during the presidency of Andrew Jackson, the U.S. Supreme Court issued three rulings narrowing power over tribal lands. The U.S. Supreme Court found that the only two entities with the power to create laws involving tribal lands included the tribe itself and the federal government. Native Americans living on tribal lands did not have to pay state taxes or abide by state law.
The Georgia legislature passed a law requiring non-Native Americans on tribal lands to acquire a license. Two missionaries refused to obtain a license and lived on Cherokee land in Georgia, Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute notes. The state arrested them and found them in violation of state law. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a writ of error stating the opinion of the court from the precedence of two previous tribal sovereignty cases.Learn More
The Supreme Court case McCulloch v. Maryland established that Congress had the power to establish a national bank and that a state (in this case, Maryland) did not have the power to tax branches of the federal government that are carrying out powers legal in the Constitution. Chief Justice Marshall wrote that the states did indeed have the power to levy taxes, but that the federal laws control the laws in the states, which cannot control the federal institutions.Full Answer >
The National Reclamation Act of 1902, also known as the Newlands Reclamation Act, allowed the federal government to commission and fund water irrigation projects, according to the National Archives. The law stemmed from arid conditions in the western states. Under the law, funding for the projects came from the sale of public land.Full Answer >
In 1954, the landmark Hernandez vs. Texas case established Mexican-Americans as a separate class from whites and African-Americans, according to the Texas State Historical Association. The Supreme Court ruling challenged judicial discrimination against Mexicans by citing the 14th Amendment to prevent Hernandez from being convicted by an all-white jury.Full Answer >
In 1962, Baker v. Carr established that the federal courts had jurisdiction to intervene in voter redistricting. The plaintiff lived in Tennessee, which had not redrawn its legislative districts since 1901. The state was required to redistrict every 10 years according to population, and the lack of redistricting diluted the representation of citizens in urban areas.Full Answer >