Things are shaping as the U.S. Supreme Court
prepares for its first Indian law case of the term.
Oral arguments in Patchak v. Zinke
take place on November 7.
The justices will be hearing from the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians
, also known as the Gun Lake Tribe, and the Trump administration, as attorneys for the two parties were granted permission to present a "divided argument" in an order issued on Tuesday
The tribe and Department of Justice
will be defending the Gun Lake Trust Land Reaffirmation Act
. The 2014 law protects the Gun Lake Casino
from litigation by ensuring that the site of the facility in Michigan is held in trust.
The lower courts so far have affirmed the law. But a different outcome at the Supreme Court could prevent Congress from taking action in similar land disputes.
"Land held in trust by the United States for the benefit of Indian tribes plays a critical role in tribal self-government and economic development,"
a brief submitted
by the National Congress of American
, the largest inter-tribal organization, reads. "Trust lands support all aspects of tribal life, from the provision of government and health care services to the protection of natural resources to energy development."
is currently only Indian law case on the court's docket. The Tribal
Supreme Court Project
, a joint initiative of NCAI and the Native American Rights Fund
, is monitoring petitions in a dozen more cases in the event they are added to the docket.
D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
v. Jewell (July 15, 2016)
U.S. Supreme Court Decision:Patchak v.
(June 18, 2012)
Prior D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:Patchak
(January 21, 2011)
Lake Tribe draws in more allies as Supreme Court considers casino case
(September 25, 2017)Supreme
Court sets November 7 arguments in long-running land-into-trust case
(September 6, 2017)Supreme
Court brings bad news to tribes by taking up land case
(May 1, 2017)Supreme
Court relists petition in Gun Lake Tribe gaming land case
Court takes no action on long-running tribal land case
team gets more time in Supreme Court tribal casino case
appeals court backs Gun Lake Tribe land-into-trust law
(July 15, 2016)