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 Rise of Tribes and the Fall of Federal 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:
Proposed rule brings LGBT equality to Indian housing programs (5/24)
Chairman of Quapaw Tribe endorses Democrat Hillary Clinton (5/24)
Appropriations bill blocks new federal recognition regulation (5/24)
Native American Children's Safety Act clears final Hill hurdle (5/24)
9th Circuit won't rehear Tohono O'odham Nation gaming case (5/24)
Lakota Country Times: Army promises return of tribal children (5/24)
Native Sun News: New business sprouts up at Wounded Knee (5/24)
Mark Trahant: Tulalip citizen lands role in Democratic platform (5/24)
Brandon Ecoffey: Pine Ridge unites for search of missing men (5/24)
Men who went missing found dead on Pine Ridge Reservation (5/24)
Billy Mills: Flawed poll can't justify use of team's racist mascot (5/24)
Richard King: Mascot poll reflects pervasive anti-Indian racism (5/24)
Marco Alvarez: Voices of indigenous people usually go unheard (5/24)
Indian Health Service facility cited for treatment of 6-month-old (5/24)
Tribes meet to discuss sale of ancestors and property in France (5/24)
Families of missing Native women in Canada still await justice (5/24)
Menominee Nation considers options after losing hemp lawsuit (5/24)
Dental group appears to relent on therapists in Indian Country (5/24)
Alaska Natives welcome removal of 'Eskimo' from federal laws (5/24)
Joba Chamberlain lands on disabled list after joining new team (5/24)
Coquille Tribe awaits environmental review for gaming project (5/24)
Seminole Tribe still going strong despite lack of new casino deal (5/24)
Long wait hints at tie in closely-watched tribal jurisdiction case (5/23)
Another Indian Health Service facility in Great Plains threatened (5/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee schedules hearing on wildfires (5/23)
Supreme Court delays review of Seneca Nation land case again (5/23)
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge school hosts meth awareness day (5/23)
Lakota Country Times: Native men still missing after two weeks (5/23)
Tim Giago: Some good old days really were the 'good old days' (5/23)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Jay Silverheels was more than 'Tonto' (5/23)
Delphine Red Shirt: It's our duty to teach the Lakota language (5/23)
Ernestine Chasing Hawk: A vendetta in the death of Anna Mae (5/23)
Native Sun News: Rapid City group aims to address disparities (5/23)
Tara Houska: Mascots hurt Native youth despite results of poll (5/23)
Vincent Schilling: Mascot poll doesn't reflect true Indian voices (5/23)
Wenona Wolf: Native people are invisible in our own homeland (5/23)
Roger Birdbear: Obamacare can help address shortfalls at IHS (5/23)
Harold Monteau: Lessons from Canada in Native law and policy (5/23)
Steven Newcomb: Church edicts lead to centuries of domination (5/23)
Robert Jumper: Gaming leads Eastern Cherokees to bright future (5/23)
Naomi Schaefer Riley: Hold tribal leaders accountable for schools (5/23)
Benjamin Madley: Acknowledge the genocide of California tribes (5/23)
Jasmine Heiss: Leonard Peltier's fate lies with President Obama (5/23)
Santa Fe Indian School preparing for First Lady Michelle Obama (5/23)
All charges dropped for murder of Cheyenne man in New Mexico (5/23)
Donald Trump claims 'Jack Abrahamoff scandal' proves him right (5/23)
Kickapoo Tribe added to lawsuit over deadly casino bus accident (5/23)
Settlement opens door to tribal casino at popular Oklahoma lake (5/23)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge youth learn about martial arts (5/20)
Native Sun News: Oglala Sioux Tribe halts referendum on alcohol (5/20)
Clara Caufield: Off to a new adventure in the Montana mountains (5/20)
Washington Post conducts poll on Native views of racist mascot (5/20)
Warm Springs Tribes see marijuana as means to boost economy (5/20)
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.