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Supreme Court rejects Virginia treaty rights case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear the Mattaponi Tribe's treaty lawsuit against the state of Virginia.

The tribe cited a 1677 treaty with the British in hopes of blocking a large reservoir on ancestral lands. But the Virginia Supreme Court said the state properly issued a permit for the controversial project. The Supreme Court, without comment, declined to review that decision.

Other treaty issues against the city of Newport News could still be considered. A lower court ruled that the 1677 treaty is a matter of state, not federal, law.

The case is Mattaponi Indian Tribe, et al. v. Virginia, No. 05-1141.

Get the Story:
Court refuses reservoir case (AP 6/13)

Virginia Supreme Court Decision:
Alliance to save the Mattaponi Indian v. Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Environmental Quality (November 5, 2005)

Case Documents:
Mattaponi v. Virginia (Native American Rights Fund)

Related Stories:
Virginia's top court hears treaty rights case (09/15)
Mattaponi Tribe appeals treaty case to high court (10/06)
Treaty rights referred to Virginia Supreme Court (09/03)
Judge: Treaty doesn't apply to permit process (4/4)