Montana v. United States

RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Western District Court of Kentucky

DOCKET NO.: 79-1128
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

CITATION: 450 US 544 (1981)
ARGUED: Dec 03, 1980
DECIDED: Mar 24, 1981

Louis F. Claiborne - on behalf of the United States as Respondent
Thomas J. Lynaugh - on behalf of the Crow Tribe of Indians as Respondent
Urban L. Roth - on behalf of the Petitioners

Facts of the case


Media for Montana v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - December 03, 1980 in Montana v. United States

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - March 24, 1981 in Montana v. United States

Warren E. Burger:

The judgment and opinion of the Court in Montana against the United States will be announced by Justice Stewart.

Potter Stewart:

This case No. 79-1128 is here by reason of the grant of a writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

The case concerns the sources and scope of the power of an Indian tribe to regulate hunting and fishing by non-Indians on lands within its reservation owned by non-Indians.

Relying on its purported ownership of the bed of the Big Horn River, on the treaties which created its reservation and on its inherent power as a sovereign, the Crow Tribe of Montana claims the authority to prohibit all hunting and fishing by nonmembers of the Tribe on non-Indian property within reservation boundaries.

We granted certiorari to review a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that substantially upheld this claim.

For the reason stated in the written opinion of this Court, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is set aside and the case is remanded for further proceedings.

Justice Stevens, while joining the opinion of the Court has filed a concurring opinion.

Justice Blackmun has filed an opinion dissenting in part which Justice Brennan and Justice Marshall have joined.

Warren E. Burger:

Thank you, Justice Stewart.