Lyng v. Northwest Indian CPA: Court Allows Building of Roads Destroying Indian Sacred Land

Lyng v. Northwest Indian CPA: Court Allows Building of Roads Destroying Indian Sacred Land

Sandra Day O'Connor Being Sworn in a Supreme Court Justice by Chief Justice Warren Burger
Source: Wikipedia

Decided: Lyng v. Northwest Indian CPA — The U.S. Supreme Court rules 5-3 to allow a road to be built through sacred Indian lands. The Court acknowledges that the road will in fact be devastating to their religious practice, but simply finds this to be regrettable.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor writes in the majority opinion:

"However much we might wish that it were otherwise, government simply could not operate if it were required to satisfy every citizen's religious needs and desires. ...

Whatever rights the Indians my have to the use of the area, however, those rights do not divest the Government of its right to use what is, after all, its land."

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