Law | Trust

Supreme Court's trust ruling affects at least six more tribes

At least six more tribes have been affected by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in US v. Tohono O'odham Nation.

In April, the justices ruled that tribes cannot pursue a damages case in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims at the same time it pursues a historical accounting case in federal district court. As a result, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, the Winnebago Tribe, the Omaha Tribe, the Red Cliff Band, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Stillaguamish Tribe have all seen their damages lawsuits dismissed.

The tribes could refile their damages claims following the conclusion of their accounting cases. But they risk running up against a six-year statute of limitations because their accounting cases will likely take several years to resolve.

But the news hasn't all been bad since the Supreme Court ruling. The Nez Perce Tribe has been able to preserve its damages case because it was filed before its historical accounting case.

Supreme Court Decision:
Syllabus | Opinion [Kennedy] | Concurrence [Sotomayor] | Dissent [Ginsburg]

Oral Argument Transcript:
US v. Tohono O'odham Nation (November 1, 2010)

Federal Circuit Decision:
Tohono O'odham Nation v US (March 16, 2009)

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Supreme Court changes the game for tribal trust litigation (4/27)
Opinion: Supreme Court decision in Tohono O'odham case (4/27)
Tohono O'odham Nation loses trust suit in Supreme Court (4/26)
Turtle Talk Poll: Why no decision in Tohono O'odham case? (4/20)
Supreme Court yet to issue ruling in Tohono O'odham case (4/19)
Recap: Supreme Court arguments in US v. Tohono O'odham Nation (11/2)
Supreme Court to hear Tohono O'odham Nation trust case today (11/1)
Turtle Talk: Supreme Court singling out tribes for damage cases (10/14)
Supreme Court sets November 1 hearing for first Indian law case (09/29)
Supreme Court accepts Tohono O'odham trust law case (4/19)
Tribes working to keep cases away from Supreme Court (3/31)
Federal Circuit ruling in Tohono O'odham trust case (3/16)

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