Download Full Text (636 KB)
Three Affiliated Tribes v. Wold Engineering is a case that forced the United States (US) Supreme Court to clarify US Public Law 83-280 (typically referred to as Public Law 280). Due to a lack of clarity in US Public Law 280, when the Three Affiliated Tribes attempted to sue Wold Engineering for breach of contract, North Dakota (ND) state courts told the tribes that they were unable to preside over a case between a sovereign nation and a private business. The ND Supreme Court held that the tribes would have to give up tribal sovereignty if they wanted to try their case. The tribes took their case to the US Supreme Court. This is the second of two visitations that the US Supreme Court made to Three Affiliated Tribes v. Wold Engineering. This case was argued in March 1986 and decided in June 1986. Upon review, the US Supreme Court held that federal assurance that all US citizens have access to US courts preempts any state legislation that would bar the sovereign tribes from state court access. Justices Rehnquist, Brennan, and Stevens dissented.
Library of Congress
Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, Mandan, Nueta, Hidatsa, US Supreme Court, ND Supreme Court, Public Law 280, Public Law 83-280, jurisdiction, Wold Engineering, lawsuit
Mandan Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, Mandan, Nueta, Hidatsa, US Supreme Court, ND Supreme Court, Wold Engineering
Thurgood Marshall, Sandra Day O’Connor, William Rehnquist, Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, Byron White, William J. Brennan Jr., Lewis F. Powell Jr., Warren E. Burger, Raymond Cross, John O. Holm, Christopher D. Quale, Gary H. Lee
Government Printing Office
American Politics | Indigenous, Indian, and Aboriginal Law | Indigenous Studies | Law and Politics | Native American Studies | United States History
Three Affiliated Tribes v. Wold Engineering, 476 U.S. 877. (1985), https://commons.und.edu/indigenous-gov-docs/3/
Cultural Institutions Notice
Collections and items in our institution have incomplete, inaccurate, and/or missing attribution. We are using this notice to clearly identify this material so that it can be updated, or corrected by communities of origin. Our institution is committed to collaboration and partnerships to address this problem of incorrect or missing attribution.
Open to Collaborate
Our institution is committed to the development of new modes of collaboration, engagement, and partnership for the care and stewardship of past and future heritage collections.