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Law | Trust
Rhode Island governor angry over hearing impasse


Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri (R) says U.S. Supreme Court might cancel Monday's land-into-trust hearing because the state hasn't figured out who will argue the case.

Carcieri blamed councilors in the town of Charlestown for creating a "circus-like atmosphere" because they want Joseph Larisa Jr., the town's assistant solicitor for Indian Affairs, to argue the case. He is urging them to back Theodore B. Olson, a former Bush administration attorney, instead in order to prevent a disaster on November 3.

"The court could very well decide not to hear our case and let the awful decision of the court of appeals stand, [to] the extreme and lasting detriment of our entire state," Carcieri wrote in a letter to the councilors, The Providence Journal reported.

Larisa is willing to settle the dispute with a coin toss but Carcieri has rejected the idea. Carcieri wants the town to change its mind by noon today.

At issue in Carcieri v. Kempthorne is whether the Narragansett Tribe can acquire land under the Indian Reorganization Act even though the tribe wasn't recognized at the time of the act's passage in 1934. If the tribe can acquire new lands, the state claims jurisdiction over them.

Get the Story:
Governor ‘outraged’ over lawyer dispute (The Providence Journal 10/30)
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Supreme Court Documents:
Docket Sheet | Questions Presented | Order List

1st Circuit Decisions:
En Banc (July 20, 2007) | Panel (February 9, 2005)

Briefs and Other Documents:
Carcieri v. Kempthorne (NARF-NCAI Tribal Supreme Court Project

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

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