indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Indian law cases on Supreme Court's new docket
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Filed Under: Law

The U.S. Supreme Court opened a new term on Monday, after expanding its docket to include two more Indian law cases and declining a handful of others.

The justices previously agreed to hear a major land-into-trust case affecting the Narragansett Tribe of Rhode Island and other tribes who recently gained federal recognition. Oral arguments are set for November 3, less than a month away.

The Narragansett Tribe, however, won't be able to present its views in Carcieri v. Kempthorne. The justices issued an order yesterday that limited the presentation to the state -- whose officials have bickered over who will appear in court -- and to the federal government.

At issue is whether the land-into-trust provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act apply to tribes like the Narragansetts, who weren't federally recognized when the law was passed in 1934. And if the tribe can acquire new land, the state claims it has civil and criminal jurisdiction.

Gov. Donald Carcieri (R) is being represented by former Bush administration attorney Theodore B. Olson, who has appeared before the court many times, both as a government official and as a litigator for private clients. As of yesterday, the state still hadn't figured out who will argue the case.

Arguments haven't been set for the two new cases. But one of them -- US v. Navajo Nation -- has already been before the high court so the issue of a bungled lease between the Navajo Nation and Peabody Energy, the world's largest coal company, is a familiar one.

What's new is the addition of Chief Justice John G. Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. President Bush nominated the two conservative-leaning jurists after the court in March 2003 voted 6-3 against the tribe's breach of trust claim.

An appeals court revived the case but the Bush administration persuaded the justices to hear the case again. The high court's movement towards a larger conservative block could have an impact on the tribe's claim for $600 million in damages.

The second case -- Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs -- poses Native Hawaiian issues that are familiar to Roberts. Prior to joining the court, he defended the state of Hawaii over an election that was limited to Native Hawaiians.

Roberts lost that case -- incidentally, the other side was represented by Ted Olson -- but Native Hawaiians remain a political and legal question in the state and in Congress. At issue in the new case is whether the state can sell, transfer or exchange 1.2 million acres of Native Hawaiian lands without resolving the status of Native Hawaiians.

So far, the three cases are the only Indian law ones on the docket. Yesterday, the justices turned down appeals in six other cases, on issues ranging form Indian gaming to taxation.

In Kemp v. Osage Nation, the Osage Nation of Oklahoma sued the state over income taxes assessed on members who are employed by the tribe and live on tribal land. The state raised a sovereign immunity defense and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the state and the Oklahoma Tax Commission to be removed as defendants.

However, the 10th Circuit said the case could proceed against officials on the tax commission. The state asked the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling but the justices without comment declined to review the dispute.

The lawsuit has not been decided on the merits. At issue is whether Osage County, where the tribe is based, is considered Indian Country. If that's the case, then the state cannot impose income taxes on members who are employed by the tribe and live on the reservation.

On treaty rights, the justices rejected an appeal by the Klamath Tribes of Oregon. The tribes wanted to sue PacifiCorp for allegedly damaging fish runs but lower courts rejected the claim. The case was Klamath Tribes of Oregon v. PacifiCorp.

The justices also declined to hear a case involving a member of the Puyallup Tribe who sued the state of Washington over a tobacco compact. The case was Matheson v. Gregoire.

The court won't hear an appeal by several Western Shoshone tribes to determine ownership of 60 million acres of treaty land. The case was South Fork Band v. United States.

On gaming, the justices refused to hear an appeal by the Kickapoo Tribe, whose leaders have been trying to force the state of Texas to negotiate a Class III compact. The Interior Department stepped in and said it would issue "secretarial procedures" to allow the tribe to engage in gaming consistent with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

The state went to court to block Interior from proceeding. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in August 2007 invalidated the section of IGRA dealing with secretarial procedures.

The Department of Justice disagreed with the ruling but declined to appeal and urged the high court not to accept the case. The state also opposed the appeal.

In another gaming case, the justices granted a "Rule 46" petition to dismiss Ho-Chunk Nation v. Wisconsin. The tribe and the state recently settled their Class III gaming compact dispute.

Related Stories:
Arguments still not settled in land-into-trust case (10/7)
Narragansett Tribe won't argue at Supreme Court (10/6)
Supreme Court won't hear Osage Nation case (10/6)
Supreme Court refuses to hear Kickapoo gaming case (10/6)
Navajo Nation breach of trust case on docket again (10/2)
States' rights at issue in Supreme Court cases (10/2)
Supreme Court to hear Navajo Nation trust case (10/1)
Supreme Court to hear Native Hawaiian case (10/1)
Supreme Court considers Indian law cases (9/30)



Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Oglala leader blames deaths on domestic violence (7/6)
Lakota Country Times: Native youth work on drama and filmmaking (7/6)
James Giago Davies: The things that really matter to Lakota people (7/6)
Alray Nelson: Navajo Nation must stand up for marriage equality (7/6)
Terese Mailhot: Get your Disney princesses out of Indian Country (7/6)
Alex Jacobs: Genocide and slavery aren't taught in our classrooms (7/6)
Gregory Smithers: Cherokee Nation gave up Confederate imagery (7/6)
Duane Champagne: Tribes willing to adapt without losing identity (7/6)
Editorial: A woman belongs on $20 bill instead of Andrew Jackson (7/6)
Native Sun News: Deadly storm hits Crow Creek Sioux Reservation (7/3)
Lakota Country Times: Rosebud youth hold suicide awareness walk (7/3)
Delphine Red Shirt: Speak the Lakota language to carry on culture (7/3)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee schedules trust reform hearing (7/3)
Chumash Tribe wins dismissal of suit over status of reservation (7/3)
Four groups in Oklahoma seeking federal recognition through BIA (7/3)
Little Shell Chippewa Tribe welcomes federal recognition reforms (7/3)
Leader of Duwamish Tribe calls denial of recognition 'devastating' (7/3)
Editorial: Other tribes in Virginia deserve federal recognition too (7/3)
Ojibwe hockey star excited for transfer to team in nation's capital (7/3)
Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe wants sacred rock on national register (7/3)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe won't give up on wind energy despite delays (7/3)
Catawba Nation fought against British during Revolutionary War (7/3)
Kootenai Tribe of Idaho revives powwow after 15-year absence (7/3)
Taos Pueblo man sentenced to seven years in prison for stabbing (7/3)
Disputed leader of Chukchansi Tribe sentenced for clash at casino (7/3)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe starts work on Class II gaming facility (7/3)
Tohono O'odham Nation faces state in court in new casino lawsuit (7/3)
Cherokee Nation to open hotel at $80M casino near Arkansas in fall (7/3)
Brian Pierson: Tribal labor sovereignty could land in Supreme Court (7/3)
Pierre Bergeron: Judges split on federal labor law at tribal casinos (7/3)
Native Sun News: Lakota riders complete journey to Little Bighorn (7/2)
Lakota Country Times: Newspaper takes home top honors at NAJA (7/2)
Brandon Ecoffey: Delivering stories that matter to Indian Country (7/2)
Ivan Star: Creating a culturally appropriate economy at Pine Ridge (7/2)
Elizabeth Hawksworth: Being patriotic and being Native in Canada (7/2)
Micah A: Blood quantum does not make me any less of an Indian (7/2)
David Shorter: Learning not to speak on behalf of Native peoples (7/2)
Marc Simmons: Legend of Catholic priest saved by grateful tribe (7/2)
Sen. McCain deemed responsible for land swap at sacred Oak Flat (7/2)
A Tribe Called Red releases free remix of Buffy Sainte-Marie track (7/2)
Pamunkey Tribe wins final federal recognition decision from BIA (7/2)
Duwamish Tribe rejected for federal recognition for a third time (7/2)
BIA accused of blocking road access on New Mexico reservation (7/2)
Chippewa Cree Tribe elects Ken St. Marks as chair for fourth time (7/2)
Mississippi Choctaw leader comes out on top in unofficial results (7/2)
Bois Forte Band grows economy with second Tim Hortons Cafe (7/2)
Chickasaw Nation hails selection of permanent Indian law chair (7/2)
Editorial: Gila River Indian Community to blame for highway path (7/2)
Cow Creek Band continues to oppose new Coquille Tribe casino (7/2)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes renovate casino resort (7/2)
Four more tribes in New Mexico enter Class III gaming compact (7/2)
Editorial: Pojoaque Pueblo gets pass on illegal gaming operation (7/2)
Save Oak Flat caravan plans journey to DC to protect sacred site (7/1)
Court reluctantly backs NLRB in Saginaw Chippewa Tribe dispute (7/1)
Native Sun News: Opposition grows to delisting of grizzly bears (7/1)
Lakota Country Times: Reservation counties rank as deadliest (7/1)
Steve Russell: Professor outed as Cherokee fraud once again (7/1)
Harlan McKosato: Indian people survive despite mistreatment (7/1)
Marshall Matz: Fight for $380M in Keepseagle funds continues (7/1)
BIA acquires former military site in trust for Ho-Chunk Nation (7/1)
Appropriations bill adds $10M for tribal courts in PL280 states (7/1)
Sen. Murkowski questions definition of 'Indian' for health care (7/1)
South Dakota board won't back name change for sacred peak (7/1)
Fort Peck Tribes take on cost for homes promised by Brad Pitt (7/1)
Hoopa Valley Tribe orders water restrictions as tanks run dry (7/1)
Cherokee Nation certifies results of election for top positions (7/1)
Secretary Sally Jewell reaffirms opposition to racist mascots (7/1)
Virginia tribes hindered by racist policies created by one man (7/1)
Column: Native Code Talkers defended nation with languages (7/1)
Guilty plea for stabbing of BIA superintendent in South Dakota (7/1)
Opposition group rallies over Miccosukee Tribe land-into-trust (7/1)
Pojoaque Pueblo keeps casino open after gaming deal expires (7/1)
Court allows lawsuit for incident at Tonto Apache Tribe casino (7/1)
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.