Worcester v. Georgia was a 1832 Supreme Court case. Before the case, there had been a number of disputes between the Cherokees and the State of Georgia, because Georgia had been attempting to strip the Indians of their rights and remove them to the West. The Cherokee Indians, under John Ross, tried to change minds by visiting Congressmen in Washington. However their efforts were brought to a resounding halt when Congress passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The Cherokees even took the matter before the Supreme Court in the Cherokee Nation v. the State of Georgia. However the Supreme Court declared it did not have the right to go against Georgia's laws.
The issue was re-opened in 1832 in the case of Worcester v. Georgia. A missionary named Samuel Worcester was residing with the Cherokees when Georgia passed a law forbidding white men to live with them outside of governmental consent. Worcester, along with several fellow missionaries, refused to leave and they were eventually arrested. Worcester was arrested three times, and was eventually sentenced to four years in prison. However, with lawyers hired by the Cherokees, the issue was brought before the Supreme Court, which made a decision in favor of Worcester stating that Worcester didn't need Georgia's permission to reside thusly.