Tulee v. Washington

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tulee v. Washington
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued March 3, 1942
Decided March 30, 1942
Full case name Sampson Tulee v. State of Washington
Citations 315 U.S. 681 (more)
62 S.Ct. 862; 86 L.Ed. 1115
Prior history State v. Tulee, 7 Wash.2d 124, 109 P.2d 280 (Wash. 1941)
Holding
the Washington statute prescribing license fees for fishing is invalid as applied to a Yakima Indian convicted on a charge of catching salmon with a net without first having obtained a license, in view of Treaty with Yakima Indians securing to them the exclusive right of taking fish in all streams running through or bordering reservation and right of taking fish at all usual and accustomed places in common with citizens of Washington
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Black

Tulee v. Washington, 315 U.S. 681 (1942), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held the Washington statute prescribing license fees for fishing is invalid as applied to a Yakima Indian convicted on a charge of catching salmon with a net without first having obtained a license, in view of Treaty with Yakima Indians securing to them the exclusive right of taking fish in all streams running through or bordering reservation and right of taking fish at all usual and accustomed places in common with citizens of Washington.

Background[edit]

Sampson Tulee was a Yakama Indian who was arrested in 1939 for fishing for salmon with a net, without a state license. Tulee contended that the 1855 treaty gave him the right to fish, while the state contended that this right was limited to the reservation. Tulee was convicted in state court and his conviction was affirmed at the Washington Supreme Court.[1]

Supreme Court[edit]

Justice Hugo Black delivered the opinion of the court. Black found that the terms of the treaty granted tribal members fishing rights both on and off of the reservation. The state was not allowed to charge fees for Indians to be able to exercise those rights. He noted that the court had clearly ruled on fishing rights in United States v. Winans in 1905 and in Seufert Bros. Co. v. United States in 1919. The court therefore ruled that the state was without power to regulate tribal fishing.[2]

Subsequent developments[edit]

Although the tribe had won the case, they still faced discrimination from the state and from non-Indian commercial fishermen. It was not until 1974 when U.S. District Judge George Boldt ruled on the discrimination in United States v. Washington. He later ordered the United States Coast Guard to enforce his order that the state began to revise its methods, and the U.S. Supreme Court later affirmed his decision in Washington v. Washington State Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessel Ass'n.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tulee v. Washington, 315 U.S. 681, 682 (1942); John Harlan Vinzant, Supreme Court Interpretation and Policymaking in American Indian Policy 142 (2006).
  2. ^ Tulee v. Washington, 315 U.S. at 685; Vinzant, at 142.
  3. ^ Alexandra Harmon, Indians in the Making: Ethnic Relations and Indian Identities Around Puget Sound 230-32 (2000).