indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Supreme Court Roundup: Indian law cases rejected
Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The U.S. Supreme Court took action on a number of Indian law and Indian-law related cases on Monday. Here's an update on the developments in five cases that were appealed to the high court.

Indian Civil Rights Act
Four Oneida Nation families face eviction from their reservation in upstate New York now that the high court has refused to get involved in an internal tribal dispute. The family members -- including Maisie Shenandoah, the elderly aunt of Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter -- are fighting the tribe's attempt to demolish homes deemed unfit for living.

Shenandoah and her relatives claim they are being targeted because they have spoken out against Halbritter. But the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, while sympathetic to the families, ruled in April 2004 that it didn't have jurisdiction under the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 to consider the dispute.

Court Decisions:
2nd Circuit(April 2, 2004) | Federal Court (August 8, 2003)

Relevant Links:
Oneidas for Democracy - http://www.oneidasfordemocracy.org
Oneida Nation - http://www.oneida-nation.net

Related Stories:
Oneida Nation families face eviction from homes (4/6)

Sacred Sites
A non-Indian man who wants to develop land where sacred Hopi shrines are located will not be able to challenge an Arizona state policy aimed at protecting sacred sites now that the high court has rejected his appeal. Dale McKinnon claimed his constitutional rights were being violated by the state's refusal to issue him a "commercial source number" that would allow him to sell mined materials to the state.

Mountain States Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group that formerly employed Interior Secretary Gale Norton, represented McKinnon in the case, one of a series of similar lawsuits that have been brought to the courts. In rejecting McKinnno, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Native sites "are entitled to the same protection as the many Judeo-Christian religious sites" in a September 2004 ruling.

Court Decision:
Cholla Ready-Mix v. Mendez (September 1, 2004)

Relevant Links:
Mountain States Legal Foundation - http://www.mountainstateslegal.org
Sacred Land Film Project - http://www.sacredland.org

Related Stories:
Appeals court says sacred sites worthy of protection (09/07)

Native Voting Rights
A Montana county whose population is 45 percent Native will have to maintain a voting system that resulted in the election of the first Native American commissioner now that its case was rejected by the high court.

Blaine County was found to have violated the voting rights of Native Americans by preventing residents of the Fort Belknap Reservation from electing a candidate of their choice. The county -- also represented by Mountain States -- eliminated its "at-large" system in response to the litigation but continued to fight the case, claiming the federal government had no right to dictate changes at the local level.

The county had appealed the case over the objections of the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes on the reservation. Dolores Plumage, a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes who lives on the reservation and was elected to the commission in 2002, voted against taking the case to the Supreme Court.

Court Decision:
US v. Blaine County (April 7, 2004)

Related Stories:
County takes Native voting case to Supreme Court (03/29)
Montana tribe blasts county for voting rights appeal (10/27)

Indian Trust
The battle over the federal government's trust obligations isn't likely to end any time soon. But a potential negative development was avoided yesterday with the high court's rejection of a case involving two Wyoming tribes.

The Bush administration launched a broad attack in an attempt to limit the nature of the accounting owed to tribes and individual Indians. The challenge could have affected dozens of tribal trust cases and the Cobell v. Norton case.

Court Decision:
Eastern Shoshone Tribe/Northern Arapaho Tribe v. US (April 7, 2004)

Related Stories:
High court won't take appeal of tribal trust case (4/19)

Religious Freedom
In the only Indian-law related case accepted yesterday, the high court will determine whether a religious group in New Mexico can use a hallucinogenic tea that considered an illegal drug by federal authorities. The case has drawn attention because the group has compared itself to the Native American Church, whose members are allowed to use peyote, a hallucinogenic drug.

NAC practitioners are worried that the case could lead to non-Indian abuse of their religious sacrament. A court in Utah has held that peyote use cannot be restricted to members of federally recognized tribes.

Court Decisions:
10th Circuit En Banc (November 12, 2004) | 10th Circuit Panel (September 4, 2003) | Federal Court (September 12, 2002)

Related Stories:
Supreme Court takes drug case tied to peyote use (4/19)

Copyright 2000-2005 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Choctaw Nation Trial:
Choctaw Nation releases statement after guilty verdict in case (11/21)
Former Choctaw Nation employee found guilty after lengthy trial (11/21)
Trial on Choctaw Nation fraud winds down with final testimony (11/21)
Leader of Choctaw Nation faces tough questions in fraud trial (11/21)
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux youth to join White House meet (11/21)
Obamas welcome youth from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to DC (11/21)
House passes bill to address Grand Portage Band per capitas (11/21)
House Natural Resources Committee passes three tribal bills (11/21)
Chaske Spencer: Changing the narrative for our Native youth (11/21)
Winona LaDuke: No one believes in the 'black snake' pipeline (11/21)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Tax disparities remain in Indian Country (11/21)
ICT interview with DOI deputy secretary on Cobell buy-backs (11/21)
Oglala Sioux Tribe rounds up dogs after deadly attack on girl (11/21)
Leader of Navajo Nation signs bill for higher tax on junk food (11/21)
North Dakota tribe in negotiations for pipeline to curb flaring (11/21)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe passes language to new generation (11/21)
Little Traverse Bay Bands swear in interim leader after recall (11/21)
Blog: Play-by-play of election controversy on Navajo Nation (11/21)
Column: Theories link Thanksgiving to 1637 Pequot massacre (11/21)
Editorial: Work with Burns Paiute Tribe on land-into-trust bid (11/21)
Ex-employee of Passamaquoddy Tribe admits to drug charge (11/21)
BIA publishes notice of Karuk Tribe Class III gaming compact (11/21)
Oklahoma reports drop in gaming exclusivity fees from tribes (11/21)
Pala Band gears up for official launch of Internet gaming site (11/21)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux woman shot and killed by police (11/20)
Mark Trahant: Lakota honor song wasn't out of place in Senate (11/20)
Dog attack blamed for death of eight-year-old girl at Pine Ridge (11/20)
DOI issues status report on Cobell land consolidation program (11/20)
Greg Grey Cloud explains Lakota honor song after Senate vote (11/20)
Steven Newcomb: Disestablishing the doctrines of domination (11/20)
Sen. Mark Begich: Moving forward for the first people of Alaska (11/20)
Bill Richardson: Indian Country feels effects of climate change (11/20)
Smithsonian: Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 won't be forgotten (11/20)
Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe sues South Dakota over sales tax (11/20)
Morongo Band distributes 10K turkeys for Thanksgiving meals (11/20)
GAO report looks at tribal implementation of Adam Walsh Act (11/20)
FBI opens background check database to tribal law agencies (11/20)
Survey shows most Americans wouldn't use R-word in person (11/20)
USDA Blog: Youth from Angoon Tribe carry on their traditions (11/20)
Editorial: County and critics must stop fighting Chumash Tribe (11/20)
Editorial: Oklahoma Indian museum benefits the entire state (11/20)
Muscogee Nation finally starts work on $365M gaming project (11/20)
Two tribes making push for off-reservation casino in California (11/20)
Mashantucket Tribe hires new executive for gaming operation (11/20)
Opinion: Catawba Nation makes a sneak attack with casino bid (11/20)
Opinion: Poarch Creek gaming deal won't help state's economy (11/20)
Native Sun News: Northern Cheyenne activists push for change (11/19)
Mark Trahant: Historic election in Alaska with Native candidate (11/19)
Audio: Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on child trauma (11/19)
Republicans hold up action on Alaska tribal jurisdiction measure (11/19)
DOI official to give update on Cobell land consolidation program (11/19)
Center for Native American Youth hosts panel discussion in DC (11/19)
Sen. Heitkamp to host panel on child trauma in Indian Country (11/19)
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.