Who is more sovereign: Wisconsin or the Ho-Chunk Nation?

Has anyone compared the sovereignty of  the state of Wisconsin  to the Ho-Chunk Nation’s sovereignty vis-a-vis  federal laws? Anyone out there with some background in this area?

Seems to me that Indian nations have established their sovereign rights more conclusively in the past 50 years than any state of the Union.  I understand that, as individuals and as government , the struggle for Indian civil rights has fallen short of the civil rights of black  Americans, often requiring special legislation to provide Indians the equality under law that blacks had already achieved.

What is the political and legal relationship between the state of Wisconsin and the Ho-Chunk Nation?

Can anyone jump in and give me a tutorial on whether the rights and freedoms of tribal nations exceed the rights and freedoms of the states?

For example, does ObamaCare apply to the Indian Nations? Can Congress compel citizens of the Indian nations to buy insurance? Does the penalty tax apply? How does the Indian Commerce Clause differ from the Interstate Commerce Clause  in this case?

If there is a resource in the ether that can help me understand how the Indian Nations and the state governments differ in the application of federal laws, please point the way….




Author: Reasonable Citizen

Reserved, inquisitive, looks before leaping, www.reasonablecitizen.com

One thought on “Who is more sovereign: Wisconsin or the Ho-Chunk Nation?”

  1. The U.S. Constitution guaranteed the tribes’ sovereignty, yet throughout history the actual status of Indian tribes has been contested. In the early nineteenth century, as waves of white settlers moved west, Indians found it increasingly more difficult to maintain their status as independent nations because the U.S. did little to protect their rights. In 1832, Chief Justice John Marshall defined the limits of Indian sovereignty in the case of Worcester v. Georgia. Marshall maintained that Indian tribes had been treated as independent and sovereign nations since the arrival of Europeans, but that the various treaties that put tribes under the protection of the United States terminated their status as independent nations. Instead, Marshall termed them “domestic dependent nations” which meant that the tribes retained the right to regulate internal tribal affairs but they could not make agreements with any nation other than the United States. The United States continued to make treaties with Indian tribes until 1871, when the federal government began negotiating formal agreements that required congressional approval.

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