-Even more important was the Court's 1832 decision in Worcester v. Georgia, in which the Court invalidated Georgia laws that attempted to regulate access by U.S. citizens to Cherokee country. Only the federal government could do that, Marshall claimed, thus taking another important step in consolidating federal authority over the states. In doing so, he further defined the nature of the Indian nations. The tribes, he explained, were sovereign entities in much the same way Georgia was a sovereign entity- "distinct political communities, having territorial boundaries within which their authority is exclusive."
-In defending the power of the federal government, he was also affirming, indeed expanding, the rights of the tribes to remain free from the authority of state governments. The Marshall decisions, therefore, what the Constitution itself had not done: they defined a place for the Indian tribes within the American political system.