Worcester v. Georgia
U.S. Case Law
31 U.S. 515 (1832), affirmed the federal government's exclusive right to treat “the Indian nations…as distinct, independent, political communities” outside the reach of the states. The case involved a missionary (Worcester) to the Cherokees who failed to obtain a license as required by a Georgia statute. The Supreme Court ruled that, since the Cherokees must be regarded as an independent nation, the Georgia law violated the commerce clauses of the Constitution. The state, however, with President Andrew Jackson's endorsement, ultimately refused to acknowledge the ruling and proceeded forcibly to remove Cherokees from their territory under the umbrella of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.