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Prior cases, have assumed, without analysis that the ACA applies to Indian Country. This review of the ACA failed to consider and incorporate clearly established Indian law principles and foundational tenets of criminal law in the analysis of its applicability to Indians and Indian Country. Most importantly, the precedent and the Court below failed to understand the racial component involved in the analysis. These failures to understand the principles of Indian law and criminal law, have rendered haphazard and incoherent decisions.

Amici seek to bring clarity to the complex jurisdictional interplay and provide a practical framework for the proper analysis in applying the ACA and determining whether jurisdiction exists for purposes of prosecuting conduct occurring in Indian Country. Williams v. United States, 327 U.S. 711 (1946) involved a non-Indian defendant’s rape of an Indian victim -- and thus, the Court did not reach the application of the ACA to Indian defendants under the ICCA. There can be no such application consistent with clearly establish principles of federal Indian law and jurisdiction.

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United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


No. 17-30248

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ACA, Assimilative Crimes Act, Indian Country Crimes Act



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