The Trust Doctrine in Federal Indian Law: A Look at Its Development and How Its Analysis Under Social Contract Theory Might Expand Its Scope
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This article explores the continuing legal relationship between American Indians and the federal government of the United States. Namely, the battle over controlling internal tribal affairs. The history of that relationship has developed out of tensions over two doctrines the "plenary" power doctrine and the "trust" doctrine. The author reviews the possibility of expanding the scope of the trust doctrine based upon the application of a Social Contract Theory. Finally, the implications of such a theory are also discussed.