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
Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Another land-into-trust case on high court's radar
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Filed Under: Law | Trust

The Department of Justice appears to be anticipating changes in the land-into-trust process if a critical U.S. Supreme Court case goes against tribal interests.

The changes would affect tribes that gained federal recognition after 1934, the year the Indian Reorganization Act was passed. The law authorized the Interior Department to take land into trust for tribes and individual Indians.

But a pending Supreme Court case, Carcieri v. Kempthorne, could restrict the land-into-trust process to those tribes that were already recognized by 1934. Depending on the ruling, tribes that weren't formally recognized as of 1934 yet had some sort of relationship with the federal government could still benefit from the IRA.

In the latter scenario, Interior would go through another review process to determine whether a recently recognized tribe qualifies for the land-into-trust process, DOJ lawyers said in a brief involving the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, a Michigan tribe that gained recognition in 1998.

"The Department would need to explore the law and facts about federal recognition of and jurisdiction over the Band, including inter alia, any treaties, statutes, administrative activities, or the like that involved federal oversight of the Band or its property in 1934," Solicitor General Gregory W. Garre, a Bush nominee, told the Supreme Court on December 5.

The brief urged the justices to reject a petition filed by a group that opposes the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band's land-into-trust application. Garre said Michigan Gambling Opposition shouldn't be allowed to bring up the 1934 issue because it was never raised during lower court proceedings.

But MichGO is hoping the Supreme Court will grant its petition in light of Carcieri, named for the governor of Rhode Island. The justices heard the case on November 3 and several observers have said the outcome appears grim for Indian Country.

"The case presents a pure legal question and there is no factual dispute about the tribe's recognition status," the group wrote in an October 23 brief. "If the court rules in Rhode Island's favor in Carcieri, the decision will be dispositive here because it is undisputed that the tribe was not federally recognized in 1934."

Like DOJ, the tribe also argues that MichGO shouldn't be allowed to bring up the 1934 issue at the "eleventh hour." "The administration record demonstrates that the tribe was recognized by the United States no later than 1821, when it signed a treaty granting it a federal reservation near Kalamazoo and that the tribe's federally-recognized status has never been lawfully termination," the December 5 brief stated.

It's not known when the Supreme Court will rule in Carcieri but if the decision goes against tribal interests Congress could step in and amend the IRA to cover tribes that gained recognition after 1934. In that situation, it would take a couple of words to enact what some advocates are calling a "Carcieri fix."

Briefs in MichGO v. Kempthorne:
Petition | DOJ Opposition | Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band Opposition

D.C. Circuit Decision:
MI Gambling Oppo v. Kempthorne, Dirk (April 29, 2008)

Related Stories:
Supreme Court takes on first Indian law case of term (11/04)
Turtle Talk: Poor outlook on land-into-trust case (11/4)
Rhode Island optimistic on land-into-trust case (11/04)
Oregon tribes await outcome of land-into-trust case (11/04)
Appeals court delays casino for Michigan tribe (8/18)
Appeals court judge strikes blows against Indian rights (5/5)
Appeals court backs Gun Lake land-into-trust (4/29)
Appeals court backs Michigan land-into-trust acquisition (7/5)
Appeals court sides with tribe in trust land dispute (1/9)



Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Tim Giago: Lakota and Pueblo Indians on Pine Ridge Reservation (7/28)
Native Sun News: President of Oglala Sioux Tribe dodges bullets (7/28)
Puyallup fashion designer competes for prize in Project Runway (7/28)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets business meeting on bills (7/28)
Charles Roessel: BIE reform plan includes teacher certification (7/28)
Troy Eid: Marijuana experiment in Colorado hurts Indian youth (7/28)
BIA hosts scoping meeting on Paiute Tribe land-into-trust bid (7/28)
Grand Ronde Tribes disenroll 86 descendants of treaty signer (7/28)
Protest targets disenrollments within Saginaw Chippewa Tribe (7/28)
At least 10 tribes adopt laws to recognize same-sex mariages (7/28)
Law Article: Supreme Court sends reminder on tribal immunity (7/28)
Unsettled: Passamaquoddy Tribe awaits constitutional reform (7/28)
KGOU: Indian Times review of news affecting Oklahoma tribes (7/28)
Judge hears dispute over United Keetoowah Band gaming site (7/28)
Chumash Tribe plans hotel tower with $160M casino expansion (7/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe changes architects for casino plan (7/28)
Soo Tribe casino partner was developer behind failed racetrack (7/28)
Editorial: State must negotiate compact with Pojoaque Pueblo (7/28)
Native Sun News: IHS hospital at Pine Ridge undergoes review (7/25)
Ivan Star Comes Out: Group disturbs tranquility at Bear Butte (7/25)
Indian Health Service discloses privacy breach of patient data (7/25)
BIA extends comment period on federal recognition regulation (7/25)
Navajo Nation president calling for FBI probe of brutal murders (7/25)
Jennie Stockle: Justice for victims of Cedarville mass shooting (7/25)
John Christian Hopkins: Waiting for Belgian waffles at Denny's (7/25)
Steven Pevar: Indian chldren are being taken from their homes (7/25)
IHS pays $53M to settle another contract support cost dispute (7/25)
Shinnecock Nation asserts control over tobacco amid pressure (7/25)
Four sentenced for stealing HHS funds from Oglala Sioux Tribe (7/25)
Unsettled: BIA questions Passamaquoddy forest management (7/25)
ASU News: First graduates of Indian studies master's program (7/25)
Blog: Tanka Fund aims to grow Indian Country's bison economy (7/25)
Opinion: A troubling relationship with Native peoples in Canada (7/25)
Opinion: Auction of tribal property in France sets bad precedent (7/25)
Puyallup Tribe cancels upcoming Ted Nugent concerts at casino (7/25)
Mayor gives conflicting view on Tohono O'odham Nation casino (7/25)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe plans to start work at gaming site (7/25)
Pojoaque Pueblo defends provisions in proposed gaming deal (7/25)
Iipay Nation puts Internet gaming servers on Mohawk reserve (7/25)
Native Sun News: Cobell beneficiaries still waiting on payment (7/24)
Navajo Nation president to discuss brutal murders with mayor (7/24)
NCAI President Cladoosby offers cedar hat to BIA's Washburn (7/24)
Woman waiting in line at SCIA hearing reportedly had bedbugs (7/24)
S.E. Ruckman: Tribal members share frustrations on IHS care (7/24)
Mark Rogers: System exploits misery of our nation's veterans (7/24)
Fort Belknap Tribes depend on revenue from Internet lending (7/24)
Oglala Sioux Tribe still working on plan for legal alcohol sales (7/24)
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.