Abstract: In 1838, the United States and the State of Georgia forced the Cherokee Indian tribe to leave its home in Georgia and move to the West. The tribe did not want to move. It believed it had a legal right to stay, and in the early 1830s it brough two actions at law designed to enforce that legal right in the Supreme Courrt of the United States. The story of those lawsuits is a story of courts caught in a collision between law and morality on the one hand and desire and force on the other. It forces us to examine the relation between law and politics, particularly with respect to the Court's ability to enforce its judgement during the early years of the Republic.