your internet resource on facebook on twitter on Google+ on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
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:
Republicans push controversial Indian energy bill through House (10/9)
Native Sun News: South Dakota community honors Code Talkers (10/9)
Lakota Country Times: Native Americans arrested at high rates (10/9)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Lakota immersion remains our only hope (10/9)
Steve Russell: Indian people stuck with the laws of colonizers (10/9)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Native people play key role in politics (10/9)
Studio denies theft of tribal artifacts from ranch in New Mexico (10/9)
Students from Salish Kootenai College send satellite into space (10/9)
Pamunkey Tribe faces challenge to federal recognition decision (10/9)
Six indicted for stealing funds from Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate (10/9)
Kris Lane: Columbus was clearly not a friend to Native peoples (10/9)
Excavation at Indian city uncovers numerous signs of conflict (10/9)
Thomas St. Dennis: Don't let rival tribe stop Little River casino (10/9)
White Earth Nation plans hotel and RV park at third casino site (10/9)
Eastern Shoshone Tribe to debut expansion of casino in 2016 (10/9)
White House blasts Native American Energy Act ahead of vote (10/8)
House Natural Resources Committee approves two Indian bills (10/8)
First Nations Development Institute awards $250K for ranching (10/8)
Four Native chefs participate in unique food event in New Mexico (10/8)
Native Sun News: Lone Indian voice opposes mountain lion hunt (10/8)
Lakota Country Times: Wind power comes to Rosebud community (10/8)
Delphine Red Shirt: Scandal shuts down program for Indian youth (10/8)
Vince Two Eagles: Native medicine goes back thousands of years (10/8)
Jay Daniels: Indian lands still face threat from state governments (10/8)
Steven Newcomb: Religious doctrine guides Indian law and policy (10/8)
Brian Pierson: Recent federal court decisions affecting Indian law (10/8)
Choctaw Nation and Chickasaw Nation celebrate trust settlement (10/8)
Actor joked about taking tribal artifacts from ranch in New Mexico (10/8)
Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians gives $100K for cancer center (10/8)
Radio station brings news and more to Yankton Sioux Reservation (10/8)
Indian gaming industry grew 116 percent between 2001 and 2013 (10/8)
Arizona tribes on road to recovery with $1.81B in casino revenues (10/8)
Pojoaque Pueblo secures injunction in New Mexico casino dispute (10/8)
Little River Band sees off-reservation casino as boost for revenue (10/8)
Pioneering tribes share experiences with prosecuting non-Indians (10/7)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs approves two bills at meeting (10/7)
Congress approves land-into-trust bill for Pueblos in New Mexico (10/7)
House Natural Resources Committee holds markup on Indian bills (10/7)
Native Sun News: Rival teams meet on football field at Pine Ridge (10/7)
Lakota Country Times: Tribes receive $940M in Ramah settlement (10/7)
James Giago Davies: Embrace distance running in Indian Country (10/7)
Brandon Ecoffey: Powerful forces aim to keep out the Native vote (10/7)
Thomas Perez: Youth on Wind River Reservation share high hopes (10/7)
Stephen Corry: Native people displaced for sake of 'conservation' (10/7)
States oppose tribal jurisdiction in upcoming Supreme Court case (10/7)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe challenges Indian education reforms (10/7)
Two indicted for death of Seminole Nation man who went missing (10/7)
Saginaw Chippewa Tribe donates bottled water for city residents (10/7)
Mohegan Tribe swears in four council members following election (10/7)
Tribes in Amazon rainforest defend homeland from illegal loggers (10/7)
Chukchansi Tribe accused of illegal vote and casino preparations (10/7)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe suspends gaming official after arrest (10/7)
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.