Indian Civil Rights Act Law and Legal Definition

Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 is a federal attempt that prohibits Indian tribal governments from enacting or enforcing laws that violate certain individual rights.

The act applies to the Indian tribes of the U.S. and makes many, but not all, of the guarantees of the Bill of Rights which guarantees personal freedoms against actions of the federal government, and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which extends those protections to actions of state governments.

No Indian tribe in exercising powers of self government may enact or enforce any law which denies anyone the right to:

a. free exercise of religion and freedom of speech;

b. freedom from unreasonable search and seizures;

c. freedom from prosecution more than once for the same offense;

d. not testify against oneself in a criminal case;

f. not have private property taken for public use without just compensation;

g. a speedy and public trial, to be informed of the charges, to confront witnesses, to subpoena witnesses and, at one’s own expense, to be assisted by a lawyer in all criminal cases;

h. freedom from excessive bail, excessive fines, cruel and unusual punishment and, for conviction of any one offense, freedom from punishment greater than imprisonment for one year and a fine of $5,000 or both;

i. equal protection of the laws and freedom from deprivation of liberty or property without due process of law;

j. freedom from any bill of attainder or ex post facto law; and

k. the right, if accused of an offense punishable by imprisonment, to a trial by jury of no less than six persons.