indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Appeals court to rehear land-into-trust dispute
Thursday, December 7, 2006

A federal appeals court this week agreed to reconsider a land-into-trust case that tribes nationwide have been closely watching.

On Tuesday, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ordered five judges -- the same ones who ruled on a sovereignty case -- to hear a dispute involving the Narragansett Tribe, the state of Rhode Island and the Interior Department. Oral arguments take place in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 9, 2007.

The court aims to settle some crucial issues for the tribe, whose reservation was created by an act of Congress. In the sovereignty case, the 1st Circuit ruled that all state criminal and civil laws apply on the reservation.

But the tribe submitted a land-into-trust petition for a 31-acre parcel off the reservation. The Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the application, a move that presumably places the site outside the reach of state laws.

And while the BIA's approval only allows the tribe to use the site for housing, the state has raised alarms about the possibility that it could be used for gaming. The tribe has unsuccessfully sought a casino for more than a decade.

The intersection of these key issues -- sovereignty, land-into-trust and gaming -- has tribes across the country extremely interested in the outcome of the case. More than 40 tribes and two organizations representing more than 200 tribes submitted briefs when the case was first heard by the 1st Circuit.

Their views led the 1st Circuit to reject a constitutional challenge to the Indian Reorganization Act, the 1934 law that authorized the BIA to acquire land for tribes. The court joined the 8th Circuit and the 10th Circuit in upholding the legality of Section 5 of the IRA.

In October, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected petitions to review the 8th Circuit and 10th Circuit cases. But the Narragansett dispute raises the land-into-trust issue once again amid Congressional efforts to change the process.

Additionally, the case presents an issue that has not been considered fully by the Supreme Court. The 1st Circuit, by a 2-1 vote, said the state can't exercise jurisdiction over the 31-acre parcel because it sits outside the 1,800-acre reservation created by Congress.

Rhode Island claims the BIA can't acquire new land for the Narragansetts because the tribe is subject to a land claim settlement act. In a dispute between the state of Connecticut and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the 2nd Circuit rejected this argument.

The issue primarily impacts tribes in New England whose land claims were settled by Congress but affects others in Texas and South Carolina who come under similar acts. A handful of states, most notably California, also exercise jurisdiction over Indian Country under Public Law 280.

The complex matters have tied the case up in the 1st Circuit for nearly two years. The first ruling was issued in February 2005 but after a rehearing, another one came in September 2005.

The state then filed a petition for a rehearing before an en banc panel of the 1st Circuit. The panel consists of Chief Judge Michael Boudin, Judge Juan R. Torruella, Judge Bruce M. Selya, Judge Sandra L. Lynch, Judge Kermit V. Lipez, and Judge Jeffrey R. Howard.

In the sovereignty case, Lipez and Torruella dissented and criticized Rhode Island state troopers for raiding the reservation to shut down a tax-free smoke shop. On Tuesday, Torruella objected to scheduling the January 7 hearing on such short notice amid the holiday season.

Howard was the sole dissenter in the September 2005 land-into-trust decision. He said the state should be able to exercise jurisdiction over all Narragansett lands, whether on or off the reservation.

1st Circuit Decision:
Carcieri v. Norton (September 13, 2005)

Earlier 1st Circuit Decision:
Carcieri v. Norton (February 9, 2005)

Relevant Documents:
Carcieri v. Norton Briefs, Opinions (NARF-NCAI Tribal Supreme Court Project

Relevant Laws:
Rhode Island Indian Claims Settlement Act (US Code)

Relevant Links:
Narragansett Tribe - http://www.narragansett-tribe.org
Tribal Supreme Court Project - http://www.narf.org/sct/index.html

Related Stories:
High court rejects state raid, land claim (11/28)
Supreme Court won't hear land-into-trust cases (10/3)
Court subjects Narragansett Tribe to all state laws (05/25)
Appeals court hears tribal-state sovereignty dispute (12/07)
Narragansett Tribe back in court over sovereignty (12/6)
Rhode Island set to appeal trust land decision (09/16)
Trust land challenge rejected by appeals court (9/14)
Appeals court agrees to rehear sovereignty case (07/11)
Tribal sovereignty must be respected, court rules (05/13)
Appeals court sides with tribe in trust land dispute (02/10)
Court won't rehear challenge to tribal land base (05/21)
Massachusetts court deals blow to tribe's sovereignty (12/10)
R.I. tribe takes smokeshop case to higher court (01/27)
State's raid on tribal land sparks strong reactions (07/16)
R.I. to appeal Narragansett land-into-trust case (10/1)
Judge affirms Narragansett Tribe land-into-trust (9/30)
Court says U.S. can protect tribe's interests (02/04)
Land still in limbo after decade-long fight (10/16)
The day the Supreme Court said no (10/16)

Copyright 2000-2006 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Cobell settlement checks landing in Indian Country mailboxes (9/18)
Sen. Walsh welcomes arrival of last Cobell settlement payout (9/18)
Rep. Daines praises House action on tribal general welfare bill (9/18)
Winnebago attorney joins BIA as a deputy assistant secretary (9/18)
Norbert Hill: It's past time to drop the Washington NFL mascot (9/18)
Peter d'Errico: Connecting mascots to racism and termination (9/18)
Opinion: Eliminating NFL team's racist mascot is just the start (9/18)
Student newspaper punished over refusal to print the R-word (9/18)
9th Circuit rules against Chemehuevi Tribe in land deed case (9/18)
Mashable: Oglala Sioux man still pushing MazaCoin currency (9/18)
City won't allow vote on Tohono O'odham Nation casino plan (9/18)
9th Circuit poses tough questions in Big Lagoon casino case (9/18)
North Fork Rancheria banks on voter approval of casino deal (9/18)
KBIC judge dismisses lawsuit challenging plan for new casino (9/18)
Oneida Nation concerned about location of commercial casino (9/18)
Mashantucket Tribe's gaming executive to resign next month (9/18)
Column: Time for Mohegan Tribe to show its hand over casino (9/18)
Native Sun News: Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe honors veterans (9/17)
Mark Trahant: Is independence in the future for tribal nations? (9/17)
Audio: SCIA takes up bill to bar Tohono O'odham Nation casino (9/17)
House approves bill to address tribal general welfare programs (9/17)
House Natural Resources Committee sets markup on tribal bills (9/17)
House subcommittee to hold hearing on bill for Hualapai Tribe (9/17)
9th Circuit takes up Big Lagoon Rancheria gaming land dispute (9/17)
House passes bill to shield Gun Lake Tribe casino from litigation (9/17)
Andre Cramblit: Enjoying life at Dartmouth as a Native student (9/17)
Dina Gilio-Whitaker: Tribes need to lead climate change reform (9/17)
Sarah Deer wins genius grant for work to protect Native women (9/17)
Tex Hall loses bid for another term as chair of North Dakota tribe (9/17)
Group starts dragging of river in search of missing Native women (9/17)
Appeal filed over Navajo language ability of presidential hopeful (9/17)
Trial delayed for leader of Muscogee Nation accused in theft case (9/17)
Editorial: Pass bill to extend federal recognition to Virginia tribes (9/17)
NLRB reaffirms jurisdiction over Little River Band gaming facility (9/17)
Chumash Tribe to use labor unions for all work on casino project (9/17)
Student arrested over theft at Saginaw Chippewa Tribe's casino (9/17)
Native Sun News: Homeless students find support in Rapid City (9/16)
Checks from final payment of Cobell settlement put in the mail (9/16)
DOI offers $9.4M for Cobell buy-backs on Umatilla Reservation (9/16)
House takes up bill to address tribal general welfare programs (9/16)
Tribal leaders headed to Capitol Hill to push legislative priorities (9/16)
NMAI hosts symposium on treaties to coincide with new exhibit (9/16)
Witnesses: Hearing on bill to bar Tohono O'odham Nation casino (9/16)
Rival tribes spend $13M to block Tohono O'odham Nation casino (9/16)
Mark Charles: Trail of Tears sign points to much deeper problem (9/16)
Donna Ennis: Don't let ethnic imposters take away our identity (9/16)
Serial killer sentenced to life term for murder of Native woman (9/16)
Civil rights complaint filed over repeated denial of honor song (9/16)
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.