indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
The University of Tulsa College of Law - Master's in Indian Law
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Appeals court rules in 'reservation shopping' dispute
Monday, November 17, 2003

A federal appeals court on Friday upheld the Bush administration's decision to take land into trust for a landless tribe in northern California.

The 3-0 decision marked the second time this year that the courts have upheld acquisitions for landless tribes. In both cases, the tribes had their federal status terminated, then later restored, by the United States.

These tribes qualify for exemptions from costly and lengthy reviews by federal bureaucrats. But as part of a growing campaign against "reservation shopping," critics say tribes aren't entitled to land away from their current location. Tribes, they say, are using loopholes to open casinos in more lucrative areas.

The campaign has had mixed success. Casino opponents have been able to delay land-into-trust decisions throughout the country but have never been able to overturn one.

At the same time, the critics have been getting more attention in Washington, D.C. Republican lawmakers inserted language into an appropriations bill suggesting that restored tribes should not be given a break on land acquisitions. President Bush signed the bill into law last week.

Friday's ruling shot down some of the main arguments of the "reservation shopping" campaign. Two cities in Placer County said the United Auburn Indian Community should not be allowed to seek 49 acres outside the boundaries of its former reservation as the reservation existed in 1967, the date of federal termination.

But a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed this claim as "nonsensical." "The Maidu and Miwok Tribes from which the Auburn Tribe descended once occupied much of central California," wrote judge Judith W. Rogers for the majority. "For the cities to now argue that the 49 acres are a windfall, as if the tribe's ancestors had never possessed any more, is ahistorical."

The court went further and said that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), which contains the exemption for restored tribes, is not as limiting as the critics contend. Tribal lands can exist beyond reservation boundaries, the court opined.

"Given the history of Indian tribes' confinement to reservations, it is not reasonable to suppose that Congress intended 'restoration' to be strictly limited to land constituting a tribe's reservation immediately before federal recognition was terminated," Rogers wrote.

The language in the Department of Interior's appropriations act runs counter to this interpretation. It singles out two tribes for seeking trust lands out of "their traditional service area[s]" and says local communities and the state governor should be consulted on all land acquisitions. Normally, restored tribes aren't subject to these requirements, which often spell death for casino projects.

In a related case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on August 6 affirmed a land-into-trust ruling for the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, another restored tribe. Before the decision was handed down, two Democratic lawmakers authored a bill that would have forced the tribe to submit to more reviews at the local, state and federal level.

The United Auburn Indian Community, a small tribe of 225 members, opened its casino in July. The facility has done better than expected, bringing in an reported $75.8 million in the first quarter of operation.

Get the Decision:
City of Roseville v. Norton (November 14, 2003)

Related Decisions:
Artichoke Joe's v. Norton (August 6, 2003) | Artichoke Joe's v. Norton (July 29, 2002)

Relevant Links:
United Auburn Indian Community - http://www.auburnrancheria.com/index.html

Related Stories:
Northern Calif. casino doing better than expected (11/10)
Goodies for some in Interior's budget bill (11/6)
Congress clears Indian funding in budget bill (11/4)
Calif. tribe moving forward with urban casino plans (10/10)

Copyright � 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Judge won't rush ruling on Dakota Access easement amid change (12/9)
Mark Trahant: Trump's pick for Interior poses problems for tribes (12/9)
Lakota Country Times: Rosebud housing program wins top award (12/9)
Native Sun News Today: More tribal citizens sign up for Medicaid (12/9)
Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Maybe we can learn from our tragic history (12/9)
Brandon Ecoffey: Reservation basketball coaches deserve better (12/9)
Mike Myers: What Trump's election means for indigenous nations (12/9)
Caleb Trotter: New law in Oklahoma hurts legitimate Indian artists (12/9)
Gun Lake Tribe shares nearly $5.8M in gaming revenue in Michigan (12/9)
Little River Band payment puts gaming revenue sharing at $32.1M (12/9)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe files notice of appeal in casino lawsuit (12/9)
Bureau of Indian Affairs opens door to big shift in tribal economies (12/8)
Tribes promise fight against Dakota Access ahead of court hearing (12/8)
Tribes bringing #NoDAPL battle to international human rights forum (12/8)
Dakota Access Pipeline disputes small fine for disturbing tribal site (12/8)
Harold Frazier: 'Wopila tanka' to all the #NoDAPL water protectors (12/8)
Native Sun News Today: Temporary win on Dakota Access Pipeline (12/8)
Lakota Country Times: Arrests made in fatal Pine Ridge shootings (12/8)
Native Sun News Today Editorial: A bumpy ride with Donald Trump (12/8)
Delphine Red Shirt: We must step up and take care of our children (12/8)
James Giago Davies: Obama could have stopped #NoDAPL abuses (12/8)
Steven Newcomb: 'Unjust' war against #NoDAPL water protectors (12/8)
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community starts work on casino upgrades (12/8)
Seminole Tribe still shares gaming revenue despite lack of compact (12/8)
Chukchansi Tribe finally distributes $1.4M in overdue gaming funds (12/8)
Tribal sovereignty foe slated to join Donald Trump's administration (12/7)
Rep. Markwayne Mullin denies speculation of 'privatizing' tribal land (12/7)
Sen. Barrasso passing on gavel at Senate Indian Affairs Committee (12/7)
North Dakota county wants 'Sheriff Kirchmeier' account off Twitter (12/7)
Indian Health Service plans to award $1.4M in Native youth grants (12/7)
Rosalyn R. LaPier: How Standing Rock became a site of pilgrimage (12/7)
Lakota Country Times: North Dakota county sheriff hit with lawsuit (12/7)
Vi Waln: The #NoDAPL movement reminds them we are still here (12/7)
Native Sun News Today: Lakota artist designs 'Water is Life' tipi (12/7)
Ivan Star Comes Out: The lust for oil and the #NoDAPL movement (12/7)
Common Dreams: Veterans ask for forgiveness at Standing Rock (12/7)
Tiffany Midge: Don't shame Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for pipeline (12/7)
Editorial: A 'false victory' on the Dakota Access Pipeline easement (12/7)
Nick Zaiac: Let tribes decide what to do with their own homelands (12/7)
Redding Rancheria 'excited' about bid to move casino to new site (12/7)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe defends right to use land for gaming (12/7)
Dakota Access resumes push to complete final portion of pipeline (12/6)
Dave Archambault: It's time for water protectors to return home (12/6)
Kirk Francis: Tribes must remain vigilant despite #NoDAPL victory (12/6)
Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn: Numbers behind Standing Rock's victory (12/6)
Supreme Court schedules oral argument in tribal immunity case (12/6)
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.