Law | Trust

Chumash Tribe critics hail Supreme Court's land-into-trust ruling





Critics of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians say the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Salazar v. Patchak will help them fight the tribe's land-into-trust efforts.

Preservation of Los Olivos (POLO) and Preservation of Santa Ynez sued the Bureau of Indian Affairs for approving one of the tribe's applications. A federal judge ruled that the groups have standing, an issue that was affirmed by the Supreme Court's ruling in Patchak.

That application is currently tied up in an administrative appeal. Meanwhile, the tribe is seeking to have 1,400 acres placed in trust through an act of Congress.

“Gaming tribes are wealthy. They can and do seek to exert great influence on politicians. Their immense financial resources allow them to cross the line from Native Americans needing support and assistance to just another big wealthy special interest seeking unfair advantage,” three local groups said in an amicus brief that was submitted as part of the Patchak case.

No bill has been submitted so far for the tribe.

Get the Story:
Local groups applaud ‘standing’ ruling (The Solvang Valley News 6/21)
Senator pulls bill on tribal annexations (The Solvang Valley News 6/21)
Supreme Court rules casino critics's case can continue (The Allegan News 6/20)

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