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Upcoming Events

"Tribal Self-Governance in the 21st Century" with Kevin Washburn ’93, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs

Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 12:00-1:00pm

YLS, Room 121



NALSA Alumni Achievement Awards Dinner: Kevin Washburn ’93

Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 7:00 pm

Omni New Haven Hotel

NALSA warmly invites you to our inaugural Alumni Awards Dinner to honor the Hon. Kevin Washburn ’93, currently serving as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, for his extraordinary contributions to Native nations and the Indian law field.


Registration: Please RSVP for the dinner here:



Beyond the Indian Commerce Clause

Monday, October 27, 2014 – Time TBD

Location TBD


This event is a part of the Yale Law Journal’s “Contemporary Legal Scholarship” reading group.


Author: Gregory Ablavsky, University of Pennsylvania Law School


Federal exclusive and unqualified power over Indian affairs is the foundation of federal Indian law. In his concurrence in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, Justice Thomas drew on recent scholarship to argue that the doctrine of federal unqualified power is inconsistent with the Constitution’s original understanding. This interpretation would radically reshape federal law. The current Article argues, by contrast, that the Indian Commerce Clause was open-ended when written and so neither its text nor its drafting history can resolve the issue of federal authority over Indian affairs. The Article instead looks beyond the Clause and originalist approaches to constitutional history to reconstruct the origins of the federal Indian affairs power.