indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
South Dakota challenge to tribes rejected by high court
Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The U.S. Supreme Court averted a possible extension of one of its most controversial rulings on Monday by refusing to take a dispute testing the reach of state jurisdiction into Indian Country.

Without comment, the nine justices rejected an appeal of a case from the South Dakota. In the case, the state Supreme Court held that state law enforcement cannot pursue tribal members onto reservations without a warrant or tribal consent, even if the alleged crime occurred off the reservation.

South Dakota attorney general Larry Long, a Republican, sought review of the case. He argued that Nevada v. Hicks, a Supreme Court ruling from 2001, allows states to go onto reservations to investigate alleged violations of state law.

"Hicks leaves no doubt that -- contrary to the South Dakota Supreme Court -- the state has authority as a matter of federal law to enter a reservation in pursuit of a fleeing perpetrator, detain the perpetrator and take a statement from him," Long wrote in a petition to the high court.

Long cited language in the Hicks opinion that was written by Justice Antonin Scalia, considered one of the staunchest conservatives on the bench. "State sovereignty does not end at a reservation's border," Scalia observed in July 2001.

But the South Dakota Supreme Court disagreed with Long. In a unanimous decision from April of this year, the justices rejected the assertion that Hicks authorized state jurisdiction over Indian lands. The key issue in Hicks was whether tribes could subject state officials to tribal court proceedings, they pointed out.

"In other words, in Hicks, tribal sovereignty was being used as a sword against state officers," Justice Richard W. Sabers wrote for the court. "Here, tribal sovereignty is being used as a shield to protect the tribe’s sovereignty from incursions by the state."

Attorneys for Nicholas Cummings, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, agreed. In an opposition brief, they said the state was taking Hicks too far.

"The state's contention that the South Dakota Supreme Court defied Hicks is simply an overblown plea for error correction," they wrote in September. "As this Court is well aware, such pleas are not typically a basis for granting review."

The Tribal Supreme Court Project, a joint effort of the National Congress of American Indians and the Native American Rights Fund, was monitoring the case. It was one of several that were discussed last week during NCAI's annual conference.

Tribal leaders were worried about the case due to the potential to affirm the negative language in Hicks. They note that state and local law enforcement have entered into dozens of agreements with tribes to cooperate in criminal investigations. Hicks, on the other hand, sanctions conflict while ignoring tribal rights, they argue.

The case isn't the first time Long has used Hicks in his dealings with Indian Country. In an attempt to prosecute an Indian woman accused of voter fraud, Long sued several officials of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, including the tribal judge, for refusing to accept state warrants.

The tribe eventually relented under a threat of preliminary injunction but not before others registered objections to Long's campaign. The Oglala Sioux Tribe filed a brief challenging the use of Hicks.

This isn't the first time that Long has sought to overturn a ruling favorable to tribal interests either. Earlier this year, he tried to limit the amount of tax refunds owed to tribal members for an illegal gas tax but the U.S. Supreme Court refused the case.

Long is currently participating in a land-into-trust challenge against the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe and he filed amicus briefs in a case arguing that most of the Mille Lacs Ojibwe Reservation in Minnesota no longer exists. A federal appeals court has sided with the tribe.

South Dakota Supreme Court Documents:
Real Audio of Oral Arguments | Decision in South Dakota v. Cummings

Relevant Documents:
South Dakota Petition to US Supreme Court | Cummings Brief in Opposition | Supreme Court Docket Sheet

Relevant Links:
NARF-NCAI Tribal Supreme Court Project - http://doc.narf.org/sc/index.html

Related Stories:
US Supreme Court won't touch Indian tax ruling (5/24)
Court won't rehear challenge to tribal land base (5/21)
S.D. tribes contest reach of Supreme Court case (2/19)
S.D. puts pressure on tribal sovereignty (2/12)

Copyright © 2000-2004 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: A ride-along with a South Dakota county sheriff (4/17)
Lakota Country Times: Sen. Tester pushes for tribal college funds (4/17)
Native Sun News: Walk hits uranium mining sites on reservations (4/17)
Brandon Ecoffey: Vincent Brewer was a family man and a cowboy (4/17)
Delphine Red Shirt: Restoring our sacred peak to its original name (4/17)
Clara Caufield: A faithful servant to the Northern Cheyenne Tribe (4/17)
Steve Russell: Shocking students with the truth about US history (4/17)
Sunnie Clahchischiligi: Get on board with Ho-Chunk Nation player (4/17)
Navajo Nation candidates enter final stretch of bumpy campaign (4/17)
Man from Tulalip Tribes enters not guilty plea to firearms charge (4/17)
Colorado lawmaker continues tradition of bolo ties on Capitol Hill (4/17)
Editorial: End discrimination against Native Americans in Michigan (4/17)
Editorial: Virginia's tribes need federal recognition from Congress (4/17)
Indiana lawmakers not so welcoming to Pokagon Band casino bid (4/17)
Arizona agency threatens to block Tohono O'odham Nation casino (4/17)
Kansas seeks injunction to stop Quapaw Tribe gaming expansion (4/17)
Mohegan Tribe's casino enterprise named one of best employers (4/17)
Native Sun News: Senate field hearing focuses on tribes and coal (4/16)
Lakota Country Times: Program brings healthy food to Pine Ridge (4/16)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Death rituals among the Mohawk people (4/16)
James Giago Davies: Just another crazy breed Lakota in the IHS (4/16)
Karin Eagle: UNITY media summit draws people to reservation (4/16)
Walt Lamar: Addicts in Indian Country turning to spiked heroin (4/16)
Congress passes renewal of Indian Country diabetes program (4/16)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee takes up tribal labor measure (4/16)
Sen. Barrasso highlights 100 days of work on Indian legislation (4/16)
Alaska to make changes to Indian Child Welfare Act procedures (4/16)
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe council meeting ends in shouting match (4/16)
Manitoba agrees to pay funeral bill for murdered Native woman (4/16)
New York City approves marker where Indian slaves were sold (4/16)
President of Rosebud Sioux Tribe removed after ethics hearing (4/16)
Colorado House approves bill to restrict use of Indian mascots (4/16)
Lumbee Tribe remains in long quest to gain federal recognition (4/16)
Senate votes to confirm Jonodev Chaudhuri as leader of NIGC (4/16)
Letter raises legal issues for new tribal casinos in Connecticut (4/16)
Mohegan Tribe went to South Korea to discuss potential casino (4/16)
Quapaw Tribe faces opposition over possible casino in Arkansas (4/16)
Colville Tribes plan ceremonial debut of $68M casino next month (4/16)
Rincon Band contributes $9.5M to highway projects near casino (4/16)
Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux district endorses marijuana (4/15)
Native Sun News: Candidates to debate on tribal college campus (4/15)
Native Sun News: Former police chief runs for Rapid City mayor (4/15)
Mark Trahant: Millions of Native Americans wait on health care (4/15)
Dana Lone Elk: Francis Pumpkin Seed always had a bright smile (4/15)
Stephen Pevar: Tribes and families fight back with ICWA lawsuit (4/15)
Paul Moorehead: Tribes need greater control of their own lands (4/15)
Obama to visit city near Sisseton Wahpeton Reservation in May (4/15)
Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes host honoring for Suzan Shown Harjo (4/15)
DOI issues $10.5M in offers on Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation (4/15)
Navajo Nation signs buy-back cooperative agreement with DOI (4/15)
Indian arts organization seeks replacement for top executive (4/15)
National Park Service releases eight grants for NAGPRA efforts (4/15)
Bill introduced in Senate to support placing woman on $20 bill (4/15)
Judge Judy chooses reservation school for graduation speech (4/15)
Museum named after famed Pueblo woman artist closes doors (4/15)
Quick justice for assault of woman on Chitimacha Reservation (4/15)
WBUR: Reporter discusses youth suicide in Oglala Sioux Tribe (4/15)
Editorial: Agua Caliente Band can help ease tensions over land (4/15)
BIA hears from public on Pokagon Band gaming plan in Indiana (4/15)
Fond du Lac Band spars with city over services for urban casino (4/15)
Seminole Tribe faces complaints over business deals at casino (4/15)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.