Friday, December 11, 2020

Martin's "Cherokee Supreme Court"

 J. Matthew Martin, an Administrative Law Judge with the Social Security Administration who for over a decade served as Associate Judge of the Cherokee Court, the Tribal Court for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, has published The Cherokee Supreme Court with Carolina Academic Press.

The first legal history of the first tribal court upends long-held misconceptions about the origins of Westernized tribal jurisprudence. This book demonstrates how the Cherokee people—prior to their removal on the Trail of Tears—used their judicial system as an external exemplar of American legal values, while simultaneously deploying it as a bulwark for tribal culture and tradition in the face of massive societal pressure and change.

Extensive case studies document the Cherokee Nation's exercise of both criminal and civil jurisdiction over American citizens, the roles of women and language in the Supreme Court, and how the courts were used to regulate the slave trade among the Cherokees. Although long-known for its historical value, the legal significance of the Cherokee Supreme Court has not been explored until now.
–Dan Ernst