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
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:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Tribes keep up fight against Keystone XL plan (5/5)
Lakota Country Times: Loan fund expands beyond reservation (5/5)
Steven Newcomb: Debating our existence as 'tribes' or nations (5/5)
Native actors not finding many roles in Hollywood productions (5/5)
Osage Nation adopts banishment for dangerous drug offenders (5/5)
Opinion: Let's place a different Cherokee leader on the $20 bill (5/5)
GOP presidential field keeps growing with more announcements (5/5)
Navajo lawyer re-appointed to Washington gaming commission (5/5)
Coeur d'Alene Tribe readies challenge to instant racing devices (5/5)
Alabama governor won't rush into compact with Poarch Creeks (5/5)
Connecticut tribes push plan to open new casinos around state (5/5)
Opinion: Tribal war rages in Washington with anti-casino efforts (5/5)
Native Sun News: Leaders of Northern Cheyenne Tribe slammed (5/4)
Dana Lone Elk: Oglala Sioux Tribe goes back on its word on vote (5/4)
Camaray Devalos: Colonial mindset continues to destroy tribes (5/4)
Amalia Rubin: Adam Sandler portrays Native people as savages (5/4)
Opinion: Join Long March to Rome to support indigenous rights (5/4)
Court rebuffs Cherokee Nation in Indian Child Welfare Act case (5/4)
How Custer's rise and fall was covered by The New York Times (5/4)
No movement on reform of federal recognition process at BIA (5/4)
BIA not planning hearing for Miccosukee Tribe land-into-trust (5/4)
Opinion: Take a modern approach to land-into-trust in Alaska (5/4)
Winnebago Tribe works on plans for big housing development (5/4)
Marathon on Navajo Nation draws large number of participants (5/4)
Mashantucket Tribe sued over 'transition pay' for ex-councilor (5/4)
Eastern Cherokees maintain close relationship with university (5/4)
Oneida Nation makes first changes to constitution since 1969 (5/4)
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe helps contain blaze on reservation (5/4)
Fort Mojave Tribe still waiting for cleanup plan at sacred site (5/4)
Kialegee Tribal Town declines to submit brief in casino dispute (5/4)
Disputed leader of Chukchansi Tribe pleads guilty in casino feud (5/4)
Rivals outspend Tohono O'odham Nation in urban casino battle (5/4)
Poarch Creeks question plan to authorize casinos at racetracks (5/4)
Seminole Tribe renews bid to negotiate Class III casino compact (5/4)
Native Sun News: Cheyenne River Sioux man debuts tattoo shop (5/1)
Mark Trahant: Budget plan means deep cuts for Indian programs (5/1)
Terese Mailhot: Still proud to serve as that 'angry Indian' woman (5/1)
Cara Cowan Watts: Make your voice heard within Cherokee Nation (5/1)
Oglala Sioux Tribe struggles with increase in suicide among youth (5/1)
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe cites treaty in bid to oust Keystone XL firm (5/1)
Change to Oglala Lakota County becomes official in South Dakota (5/1)
Makah Nation mounts strong defense of whaling at public hearing (5/1)
Northwest Indian College in Washington attracts NASA's attention (5/1)
Officers for Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe start using body cameras (5/1)
Eastern Cherokee elder Jerry Wolfe proud of Beloved Man status (5/1)
Death of five-year-old member of Hoh Tribe under investigation (5/1)
Tribes seek consultation on status of Yellowstone grizzly bears (5/1)
Leaders of Fort Peck Tribes vote to banish school superintendent (5/1)
Editorial: Russell Begaye faces hurdles as Navajo Nation's leader (5/1)
Ute Mountain Ute Tribe aims to draw in tourists with new business (5/1)
Seminole Tribe secures listing for historic oak tree on reservation (5/1)
Historians join movement to eliminate NFL team's racist mascot (5/1)
Column: Tribes fought English settlers in bloody King Philip's War (5/1)
Lawmaker slammed for comment about Pokagon Band casino bid (5/1)
Disputed leader of Chukchansi Tribe set for plea in casino dispute (5/1)
Arizona tribes send another $25.2M in gaming revenues to state (5/1)
Draft bill calls for a Class III gaming compact with Poarch Creeks (5/1)
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.