Browning Symposium 2018

2018 Browning Symposium Header


The Future of Federal Indian Law and the (New) Roberts Court
Hosted by the Montana Law Review, the 2018 Browning Symposium featured a full day of educational programming with a focus on Federal Indian Law. A reception followed at the Blewett School of Law. This year's event examined tribal sovereignty, federal power, and individual rights.

Date: Friday, October 5, 2018
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Blewett School of Law - Missoula, MT
CLE: approved for 7.25 CLE credit hours



8:30 a.m.

Cultural Recognition and Introduction

8:45 a.m.

Civil Rights
Moderated by Hon. Brian Morris
Panelists: Barbara Creel, ICRA and the Right to Counsel; Frank Pommersheim, ICRA and Miranda Violations

10:40 a.m.

The Property Rights Implications of the Indian Child Welfare Act: Indian Citizenship and Property Rights
Keynote Address by Matthew Fletcher

11:40 a.m.


12:10 p.m.

Federal Powers and Native Governance
Panelists: John Dossett, The “Law of Nations” Clause as a Textual Source of Authority for ICWA; Angela Riley, Good Native Governance 2.0 - Changing Native Governance in the Trump Administration and the Modern Human Rights Era

2:05 p.m.

Tribal Sovereignty
Moderated by Prof. Monte Mills, Blewett School of Law
Panelists: Gregory Ablavsky, Analogizing Native Nations to other Sovereigns; Alexander Skibine, Economic Rights and the Development of the “Level Playing Field” in Tribal Sovereignty; Rebecca Tsosie, Sovereignty and Tribal Data in the “Big Data” Age

4:00 p.m.

Examining Federal Court Indian Law Decisions as a Federal Judge
Keynote Address by Judge Diane Humetewa



The Honorable James R. Browning

The Browning Symposium series honors Judge James R. Browning of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Browning, who was reared in Belt, Montana, graduated from The University of Montana School of Law in 1941. He was a member of the first editorial board of the Montana Law Review and ultimately served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review.

In September of 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Judge Browning to the Ninth Circuit. His forty year tenure on the Court is the longest of any federal judge in the country. Prior to joining the court, Judge Browning was Clerk of the United States Supreme Court.

Judge Browning served with distinction as Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit from 1976 to 1988. As Chief Judge, Judge Browning was credited with reorganizing and modernizing the administration of the Ninth Circuit. Thanks to his political savvy and remarkable leadership skills, Judge Browning was successful in keeping the Ninth Circuit intact despite persistent efforts to divide the circuit.

In 1991, Judge Browning received the coveted Edward J. Devitt Award for Distinguished Service to Justice, an award presented annually to a federal judge. In September of 2001, the State Bar of Montana bestowed on Judge Browning the Bar’s highest honor, the William J. Jameson Award. In 2005, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals building in San Francisco was renamed the James R. Browning United States Courthouse.

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The Montana Law Review is a student-run organization, and we would not be able to publish a biannual publication, host symposia regarding emerging changes in the law, and host national lecturers without the support of those in the Montana law community. Donate to the Browning Symposium here. Thank you for your support!

Parking Information

A parking permit or guest pass is required to park on the UM campus throughout the year, Monday - Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Daily parking passes for visitors to the University, available for $3.50, are sold at University Police, University Center Bookstore and Info Desk, the Treasury Office in the Lommasson Center, and the cashier’s window at Missoula College. More information, including a map of parking lots around campus and transportation alternatives, can be found at UM's Visitor Parking Page. View a map of the parking lot and law school entrances here. Parking Lot P is the closest lot to the law school.