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One nation under law Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jun 20th, 2019

Cherokee Indian case revealed the weaknesses of the American Supreme Court as the provisions were not in line with the American constitution. In 1832, the US Supreme Court exercised it powers in enforcing rights of the Native Americans against the state.

The Supreme Court had ruled before that it lacked the mandate in ruling over the Indian nation. Initially, the court rejected claims that the native tribes had self-governance and considered independent. It was a struggle of legal and political status of the native tribes in America.

The weaknesses of the American court system became realized when it rejected the Cherokee claims that they were independent just like other sovereign federal states around. The Supreme Court rejected this claim in the first case and latter developed a different theory in the second case (The Supreme Court, n. d).

The Supreme Court did not speak and stand for the national values and the inspirations of the people as spelt by the constitution. It worked in favor of one side hence showed the weakness it has.

John marshal avoided the same case earlier in his career when he gave his opinion on the relationship between the United States and Indian nations. According to him, the federal states in America inherited the rights from its colonial master who was Britain and became independent with those rights.

He believed that US should give same rights to the Indian nations with exclusion of the European political powers. He argued his case that the Indian nations should have all other rights but not to posses land and have political dominion over their laws. John marshal avoided the case by acknowledging exercising conquest, which may lead to dominion of political power.

However, his take was that the case should not be for the state but in the federal government. The court ruled in favor of Cherokee that it was a community on its own and could govern itself without involving Georgia.

It gave Cherokee autonomy of governing itself as an independent community to implement its governance structure. The doctrine of the court was that only the state has the mandate of reviewing land issues related to Indian nation unlike in the case of Georgia.

The weakness in the court system realized during this period was when Georgia refused to enforce and comply with the court as it had independent with powers. The relocation of the Cherokees was absolute misuse of powers and court had jurisdiction. Different states exercise their powers and have the guaranteed independence that gives them freedom to do all they can within their mandate.

The courts ruling giving sovereignty to a tribal group of indigenous community within a state is a weakness of the state. The constitution guarantees rights to individuals and they are limited to certain degree. Many states as well as individuals like to exercise power on their own capacity but it has to have its limitations in line with the constitution.

America is one nation under law hence the subdivision divides the country which might not be important at long run. As the supreme gave sovereignty to the Indian nation and gave the state the powers to negotiate on the Indian lands, it was trying to protect the interest of a small group at the expense of the federal state, as Georgia had to comply and wait for the new governor to effect the court decisions.


The Supreme Court. (n. d). One Nation under Law. Retrieved from:

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"One nation under law." IvyPanda, 20 June 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/one-nation-under-law/.

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IvyPanda. "One nation under law." June 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/one-nation-under-law/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "One nation under law." June 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/one-nation-under-law/.


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