10th Circuit rejects challenge to Wyandotte land-into-trust
The federal government can't be sued for taking land into trust for the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Monday.

In 1996, the Bureau of Indian Affairs agreed to acquire a half-acre site in downtown Kansas City, Kansas, for the tribe. The state of Kansas, along with three other tribes in the state, pursued litigation for over a decade in hopes of stopping the acquisition.

After numerous appeals, the 10th Circuit held that the BIA could proceed with the acquisition because the tribe purchased the land with funds that were authorized by an act of Congress. But the litigation continued even after the agency made a final decision in 2002 to place the site into trust.

As a result, the 10th Circuit said the federal government is protected by sovereign immunity under the Quiet Title Act. "Congress’ intent in excluding Indian trust lands from the Quiet Title Act’s waiver of sovereign immunity was to prevent adverse claimants from interfering with the United States’ obligations to the Indians," the court wrote, quoting from a 2004 land-into-trust case.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Iowa Tribe v. Salazar.

10th Circuit Decision:
Iowa Tribe v. Salazar (June 7, 2010