US Government Documents related to Indigenous Nations



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This United States (US) Supreme Court case, decided June 14, 1976, provided clarity on the jurisdiction granted by US Public Law 280 in regard to taxation of the personal property of reservation Indians. In 1972, petitioner Russell Bryan, enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe residing on the Leech Lake Reservation in Minnesota, received a notice of taxation on his home from Itasca County, Minnesota. Bryan filed suit to Minnesota district court which ruled in favor of Itasca County. Although US Public Law 280 does not specifically address taxation, the district court based its decision on US Public Law 280, holding that because the law does not specifically exempt taxation of personal property. The case went to the Minnesota Supreme court which ruled the same. The US Supreme Court agreed to review the case and reversed the decision of the lower courts. The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of Bryan, holding that the intention of US Public Law 280 was to allow for states to assume jurisdiction over criminal suits and not to authorize taxation of personal property of enrolled members of federally recognized tribes living on tribal trust land. William J. Brennan delivered the opinion of the court.

Publication Date



Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Anishinaabe, Ojibwe, US Supreme Court, MN Supreme Court, lawsuit, jurisdiction, Public Law 280, taxation, taxation of personal property, gaming, casino

Organizations Referenced

Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Anishinaabe, Ojibwe, US Supreme Court, MN Supreme Court

People Referenced

Russell Bryan, Bernard P. Becker, Gerald L. Seck, Michael Hagedorn, Daniel H. Israel, C.H. Luther, Warren Spannaus, Paul R. Kempainen, Steven G. Thorne


Government Printing Office


American Politics | Indigenous, Indian, and Aboriginal Law | Indigenous Studies | Law and Politics | Native American Studies | United States History

Recommended Citation

Bryan v. Itasca County 426 U.S. 373 (1976).

Bryan v. Itasca County



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