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Supreme Court won't hear land-into-trust cases
Tuesday, October 3, 2006

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected two lawsuits that challenged the Bureau of Indian Affairs' authority to take land into trust.

Without comment, the justices refused to hear South Dakota v. Department of the Interior, No. 05-1428, and Utah v. Shivwits Band of Paiute Indians, No. 05-1160. Both cases had gone in favor of the BIA and the tribes at the appellate court level.

South Dakota and Utah, backed by other states, argued that Section 5 of Indian Reorganization Act is unconstitutional because it grants the Interior Department too much power to acquire land for tribes and individual Indians. Three appellate courts have rejected the reasoning.

In South Dakota, the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe has been waiting more than 10 years for its land to be taken into trust. The Shivwits Band of Paiute Indians has been waiting 11 years.

Relevant Links:
NARF-NCAI Tribal Supreme Court Project -

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