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The text of the decision states that:
“Sovereign immunity is a legal doctrine distinct from tribal sovereignty and is not dependent upon finding that federal law preempts a state regulation.”
The decision goes further to articulate that:
“A Native American Indian Tribe is subject to suit only where authorized by Congress or where the tribe has clearly waived its sovereign immunity.”
Finally, the decision expresses the absolute nature of tribal sovereignty:
“An Indian Tribe's sovereign nation status confers an absolute immunity from suit in federal or state court, absent an express waiver of that immunity or congressional authorization to sue.”
The California court decision is similar to the February 14, 2012 ruling in Colorado vs. Cash Advance which also upheld absolute sovereign immunity. The Colorado decision included particularly strong language supporting absolute sovereign immunity for tribes to engage in commerce using the Internet:
"Tribal immunity knows no territorial bounds."
The decision goes on to state:
“Tribal immunity applies to a tribe's governmental and commercial activities alike not only has every federal court of appeals addressing this issue so concluded, but the United States itself has also conceded that a tribe does not lose its immunity simply by engaging in a business through a corporate entity.”
posted May 23, 2012 7:40 am edt
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