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United States v. Dion

United States Supreme Court
476 U.S. 734 (1986)


Dwight Dion (defendant) was a member of the Yankton Sioux Indian tribe. Dion was convicted in federal district court of violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq., and the Bald Eagle Protection Act (BEPA), 16 U.S.C. § 668 et seq., because he had shot and killed four bald eagles while hunting on an Indian reservation. Dion appealed the conviction, arguing that he had a federal right to hunt eagles under the 1858 Treaty with the Yankton Sioux, as long as the hunting was for personal reasons and not for sale. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, sitting en banc, agreed with Dion and held that the ESA and BEPA did not overrule Dion’s right under the federal treaty. The court of appeals vacated Dion’s conviction. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Marshall, J.)

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