indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
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...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge's David Michaud wins fighting match (12/19)
Mark Trahant: Old school budgets a better deal for Indian Country (12/19)
Ruth Hopkins: Boycott a repeat offender of cultural appropriation (12/19)
8th Circuit sides with Omaha Tribe in reservation boundary case (12/19)
BIA finalizes rule to add Alaska tribes to land-into-trust process (12/19)
Obama signs measure to extend VAWA tribal provision to Alaska (12/19)
Wyandotte Nation set to break ground on $1.4M cultural center (12/19)
Man from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe charged for cousin's murder (12/19)
Opponents of Cowlitz Tribe plan appeal of gaming land decision (12/19)
Menominee Nation off-reservation casino supporters hold rally (12/19)
Bear River Band hires tribal member as casino general manager (12/19)
Column: Poarch Creek gaming is only thing working in Alabama (12/19)
Column: Wait for decision on Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino (12/19)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe inaugurates new leadership (12/18)
Walt Lamar: Cooperation helps address crime in Indian Country (12/18)
Brandon Ecoffey: Tournament shows hope of the Lakota people (12/18)
Editorial: Showing caution for marijuana sales in Indian Country (12/18)
Editorial: New York governor makes right call to outlaw fracking (12/18)
Fines for foes of Tohono O'odham Nation off-reservation casino (12/18)
New York passes over tribes for first commercial casino licenses (12/18)
Factions of Cayuga Nation in court over Class II gaming facility (12/18)
Deadline extended for commercial casino eyed by Quapaw Tribe (12/18)
Opinion: Another casino isn't answer to Connecticut's problems (12/18)
Native Sun News: Youth take on lead role in Dakota memorial ride (12/17)
Mark Trahant: NCAI launches new campaign against racist mascot (12/17)
Norm DeWeaver: Job market is a disaster zone in Indian Country (12/17)
Amanda Blackhorse: Fake chiefs and fake headdresses must go (12/17)
DOI makes $9M in buy-back offers on Coeur d'Alene Reservation (12/17)
Shoshone-Bannock Tribes see success with two bills in Congress (12/17)
Boyd Cothran: Torture justified by treatment of Indian prisoners (12/17)
Rep. Gosar faces criticism over bill that benefits Hualapai Tribe (12/17)
Navajo Nation's highest court dismisses challenge to candidate (12/17)
Column: Tribal voices often minimized in environmental debate (12/17)
Column: Chief Cliff still an undeniably spiritual place in Montana (12/17)
Native activists in Brazil protest land bill with bows and arrows (12/17)
Shakopee Tribe funds Eastern Shoshone Tribe casino expansion (12/17)
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.