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with In-dian Tribes,” not the Senate’s role in approving treaties, nor anything else—gives Congress such sweeping authority.
Indeed, the Court created this new power because it was unable to find an enumerated power justifying the federal Major Crimes Act, which for the first time punished crimes committed by Indians against Indians on Indian land.
“Both Nichols’s and Bryant’s uncounseled convictions ‘comport’ with the Sixth Amendment, and for indicates that use of Bryant’s uncounseled tribal-court convictions in his §117(a) prosecution did not “transform his prior, valid, tribal court convictions into new, invalid, federal ones.” App.
There is no reason to suppose that tribal-court proceedings are less reliable when a sentence of a year’s imprisonment is imposed than when the punishment is merely a fine.
Congress’ purported plenary power over Indian tribes rests on even shakier foundations.When convicted of these offenses, Bryant was indigent and was not appointed counsel.The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.It held, however, that Bryant’s tribal-court convictions could not be used as predicate convictions within §117(a)’s compass because they would have violated the Sixth Amendment had they been rendered in state or federal court.He was denied no right to counsel in tribal court, and his Sixth Amendment right was honored in federal court.