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in a unanimous opinion, the court vacated a 9th Circuit ruling that a Native American tribe could maintain a claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983 because the tribe sought protection from an unlawful search and seizure, a Fourth Amendment right covered by the statute. Inyo County, Calif. v. Paiute-Shoshone Indians of the Bishop Community of the Bishop Colony, No. 02-281. The court held that § 1983 permits citizens to seek relief if they are being deprived of their federally protected rights. It was not designed to facilitate the withholding of evidence relevant to a criminal investigation. A tribal member has no immunity from a properly executed search warrant. Remanding the case, the court said, “The Tribe has not explained . . . what prescription of federal common law . . . enables the Tribe to maintain an action for declaratory and injunctive relief establishing its sovereign right to be free from state criminal processes.” Ginsburg delivered the court’s opinion.

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