Senate Indian Affairs Committee to host roundtable on Carcieri

A view of the U.S. Supreme Court. Photo by Indianz.Com

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee will host a roundtable discussion on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar on March 25.

In February 2009, the court held that the Bureau of Indian Affairs can place land in trust only for those tribes that were "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934. A simple legislative fix to ensure that all tribes can participate would resolve uncertainties and prevent litigation but Congress has failed to enact one in the last six years.

"This is a disastrous decision," Kitcki Carroll, the executive of the United South and Eastern Tribes, said during the National Congress of American Indians winter session in Washington, D.C., late last month. "Every day that goes by, the disaster keeps getting worse.”

Tribes and tribal organizations like NCAI have repeatedly advocated for a "clean" Carcieri fix. But some members of Congress -- Republicans and Democrats -- have brought up gaming and other concerns that tribes say don't belong in the bill.

Lobbyists representing certain tribes also have been accused of trying to inject gaming into the debate. Without a clear consensus, support for a Caricieri fix appears to be waning -- a bill has yet to be introduced in the Senate.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma), a member of the Chickasaw Nation, introduced H.R.249 in January but it has yet to receive a hearing. The bill has 12 co-sponsors.

The March 25 listening session is open to the public but it won't be webcast.

Committee Notice:
Roundtable Discussion on "The Carcieri v. Salazar Supreme Court Decision and Exploring a Way Forward." (March 25, 2015)

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