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Cherokee Nation v. Georgia

Significance, The "trail Of Tears", Further Readings


Cherokee Indian Nation


State of Georgia

Plaintiff's Claim

That under the Supreme Court's power to resolve disputes between states and foreign nations, the Court could forbid Georgia from unlawfully attempting to move the Cherokees from their lands.

Chief Lawyer for Plaintiff

William Wirt

Chief Defense Lawyer


Justices for the Court

Henry Baldwin, William Johnson, John Marshall (writing for the Court), John McLean

Justices Dissenting

Smith Thompson, Joseph Story (Gabriel Duvall did not participate)


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

5 March 1831


That the Court had no power to hear the dispute, because Indian tribes are not foreign nations.

Related Cases

  • Fletcher v. Peck, 10 U.S. 87 (1810).
  • Johnson v. McIntosh, 21 U.S. 523 (1823).
  • Worcester v. Georgia, 6 U.S. 515 (1832).


Garraty, John A. A Short History of the American Nation. New York: Harper, 1981.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1637 to 1832