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
Indian Law Online Master Degree
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:
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Tim Giago: An independent candidate awakens 'Party' zombies (9/22)
Mark Trahant: Huge crowd turns out for People's Climate March (9/22)
Doug George-Kanentiio: All children are gifts from the Creator (9/22)
Native Sun News: Native women take stand against violence (9/22)
Clara Caufield: Northern Cheyenne Tribe heads into election (9/22)
Navajo Nation to announce trust fund settlement this Friday (9/22)
S.E. Ruckman: A remarkable day with arrival of Cobell checks (9/22)
Jon Tester: Bill protects Special Diabetes Program for Indians (9/22)
Ron Allen: Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe keeps workers engaged (9/22)
Dante Desiderio: Working together to address tribal tax issue (9/22)
Vena A-dae Romero: Asserting sovereignty through our food (9/22)
Mark Rogers: Leadership in Native America is at a crossroads (9/22)
Dave Lundgren: BIA must take a closer look at rights-of-way (9/22)
Peter d'Errico: Video uses humor to battle racist NFL mascot (9/22)
Opinion: Racist sports mascots preserve 'imaginary' Indians (9/22)
Justice Sotomayor studied Indian law after joining top court (9/22)
House subcommittee holds hearing on bill for Hualapai Tribe (9/22)
Colville Tribes participate in repatriation ceremony in Canada (9/22)
Shinnecock Nation tightens regulation of tobacco businesses (9/22)
Forest County Potawatomi Tribe won't share casino revenue (9/22)
Coeur d'Alene Tribe can't offer poker games pending appeal (9/22)
Lytton Band might purchase property next to gaming facility (9/22)
Nottawaseppi Huron Band reopens casino after electrical fire (9/22)
Guilty verdict in robbery of Saginaw Chippewa casino winner (9/22)
Editorial: Poarch Creek gaming deal deserves consideration (9/22)
Native Sun News: Tribes united against Keystone XL Pipeline (9/19)
Regina Brave: The earth that once was will soon be no more (9/19)
Chelsey Luger and Gyasi Ross: A conversation about suicide (9/19)
Cobell settlement checks being cashed across Indian Country (9/19)
Congress passes measure for tribal general welfare programs (9/19)
Native Sun News: US Senate candidates debate Native issues (9/18)
Cobell settlement checks landing in Indian Country mailboxes (9/18)
Sen. Walsh welcomes arrival of last Cobell settlement payout (9/18)
Rep. Daines praises House action on tribal general welfare bill (9/18)
Winnebago attorney joins BIA as a deputy assistant secretary (9/18)
NWIFC schedules briefing on 'Treaty Rights 101' on Capitol Hill (9/18)
Norbert Hill: It's past time to drop the Washington NFL mascot (9/18)
Peter d'Errico: Connecting mascots to racism and termination (9/18)
Opinion: Eliminating NFL team's racist mascot is just the start (9/18)
Student newspaper punished over refusal to print the R-word (9/18)
Officer investigated for 'drunk uneducated animals' comment (9/18)
9th Circuit rules against Chemehuevi Tribe in land deed case (9/18)
Mashable: Oglala Sioux man still pushing MazaCoin currency (9/18)
City won't allow vote on Tohono O'odham Nation casino plan (9/18)
9th Circuit poses tough questions in Big Lagoon casino case (9/18)
North Fork Rancheria banks on voter approval of casino deal (9/18)
KBIC judge dismisses lawsuit challenging plan for new casino (9/18)
Oneida Nation concerned about location of commercial casino (9/18)
Mashantucket Tribe's gaming executive to resign next month (9/18)
Column: Time for Mohegan Tribe to show its hand over casino (9/18)
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.