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Morton v. Mancari

Significance, Preferences And The Fifth Amendment, Native Americans Not Ethnic, Impact


Rogers Clark Morton, U.S. Secretary of Interior


Mancari, et al.

Appellant's Claim

That the federal government's use of Native American preferences in personnel decisions did not violate equal protection under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Harry R. Sachse

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Gene E. Franchini

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun (writing for the Court), William J. Brennan, Jr., Warren E. Burger, William O. Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting



Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

17 June 1974


Upheld the United States' claim and overturned a lower court's decision prohibiting use of Native American preferences in governmental personnel hiring and job promotion practices.

Related Cases

  • Board of County Commissioners v. Seber, 318 U.S. 705 (1943).
  • United States v. Antelope, 430 U.S. 641 (1977).
  • County of Oneida v. Oneida Indian Nation, 470 U.S. 226 (1985).
  • Traynor v. Turnage, 485 U.S. 535 (1988).

Further Readings

  • Getches, David H., Charles F. Wilkinson, and Robert A. Williams, Jr. Cases and Materials on Federal Indian Law, 3rd ed. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co., 1993.
  • Williams, David C. "The Borders of the Equal Protection Clause: Indians as Peoples." U.C.L.A. Law Review, Vol. 38, 1991, pp. 759-870.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980