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Broken LandscapeIndians, Indian Tribes, and the Constitution$
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Frank Pommersheim

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199915736

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199915736.001.0001

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Indians and the First Amendment

Indians and the First Amendment

The Illusion of Religious Freedom?

(p.183) 7 Indians and the First Amendment
Broken Landscape

Frank Pommersheim

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the struggles of the US Congress in locating Indian religious practices within and without protection of the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution. It takes on the issue of whether there are any notable free exercise issues involving Indians in the context of potential infringement by tribal government restrictions. The chapter also investigates the rationale behind the decision in Talton v. Mayes regarding the issue, and analyzes past procedures on how free exercise of religion were “regulated” in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Additionally, it focuses on the possibility of government discrimination against traditional Indian religious practices.

Keywords:   Native American Indian religious practices, US Congress, Free Exercise Clause, First Amendment, US Constitution, Talton v. Mayes, government discrimination

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