Thousands of Bikers Heading to South Dakota Rally to be Blocked at Tribal Land Checkpoints

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has set up checkpoints all along major routes leading to Sturgis, limiting access and hoping to protect their communities from Covid-19. The checkpoints were initially challenged by the state and federal governments, which resulted in the tribe suing President Trump and the federal government.

Tribal law experts pointed to two federal cases backing the tribe’s use of checkpoints. One is a provision in the 1981 US Supreme Court decision of Montana v. the United States, which says tribes have authority over "non-Indians" on their land when their conduct threatens the political integrity, economic security, health, and welfare of tribe. The other case cited is the 1990 ruling in Rosebud Sioux Tribe v. State of SD, which found that absent tribal consent, the state has no jurisdiction over highways running through “Indian lands.”


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