Mealey's Native American Law

  • September 30, 2021

    Nurse’s Reverse Bias Claims Over Work At Indian Health Services Clinic Fail

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A South Dakota federal judge on Sept. 28 awarded the Department of Health and Human Services summary judgment on a woman’s reverse discrimination claims over her employment with the agency’s Indian Health Services (IHS) at a Native American health care facility, saying she failed to make a prima facie case to prove racial discrimination through disparate treatment, hostile work environment, retaliation and constructive discharge.

  • September 30, 2021

    Native American Tobacco Company Sues Former Counsel For Conflicts Of Interest

    SPOKANE, Wash. — A Native American-owned tobacco company filed a complaint in Washington federal court on Sept. 28 claiming damages of more than $3.5 million from its former legal counsel for allegedly negotiating behind its back and against its interest with two of its corporate officers to create a new tobacco company.

  • September 30, 2021

    Oklahoma Asks High Court To Consider New Cert Petition Challenging McGirt

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — After dismissing its first U.S. Supreme Court petition for certiorari challenging the court’s landmark criminal jurisdiction ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma, Oklahoma on Sept. 28 filed letters in 10 other cases seeking to overturn McGirt requesting the court to refer to its arguments in a new petition rather than the dismissed case.

  • September 29, 2021

    Crow Tribe Turns To 10th Circuit In Bid To Have Hunting Ruling Vacated

    CASPER, Wyo. — The Crow Tribe of Indians is back at the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in its long-running fight for the right to hunt elk off its reservation, saying in a Sept. 27 opening brief that a district court erred in not vacating its judgment that the tribe’s off-reservation treaty hunting rights were extinguished upon Wyoming’s statehood, even though the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the opposite since then.

  • September 29, 2021

    ‘Big 3’ Drug Distributors To Pay $75M To Settle Cherokee Nation Opioid Litigation

    The so-called Big Three drug distributors — AmerisourceBergen Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and McKesson Corp. —on Sept. 18 announced in a press release that they have reached an agreement with the Cherokee Nation to settle the tribe’s opioid litigation for about $75 million paid over 6-1/2 years.

  • September 28, 2021

    Seneca Tax Row Demands Review Of Indian Treaties, High Court Told

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Internal Revenue Service has no authority under two Indian treaties to collect a tax on income earned by a member of the Seneca Nation in New York from a business operating on tribal land, the tribal member says in a Sept. 9 reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the court to review the case.

  • September 28, 2021

    8th Circuit Sends Indians’ Pipeline Trespass Claims To Bureau Of Indian Affairs

    ST. LOUIS — Native Americans’ trespass claims against oil companies over a pipeline that runs across a reservation should be stayed, not dismissed, under the primary jurisdiction doctrine to allow the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to rule on the dispute, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Sept. 13 in reversing and remanding.

  • September 27, 2021

    4 Petitions For Cert Filed Over 5th Circuit Ruling On Indian Child Welfare Law

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Four petitions for writs of certiorari were filed Sept. 3 by various parties challenging a widely divided en banc Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals opinion holding that while the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and its implementing rule do not violate the U.S. Constitution, parts of the law are unconstitutional.

  • September 21, 2021

    Interior Secretary Haaland Signs Water Compact For Native American Water Rights

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Sept. 17 signed the Confederated Salish and Kootenai-Montana Compact, formally executing the Montana Water Rights Protection Act and improving the tribes’ access to water within the Flathead Reservation, according to an Interior Department press release.

  • September 21, 2021

    Split 9th Circuit Sends Tribal Lending Row To Arbitration

    SAN FRANCISCO — A divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 17 reversed a federal court’s denial of a motion to compel arbitration in a payday lending dispute involving tribal entities and remanded for an arbitrator to decide whether the loan documents’ delegation provision is enforceable.

  • September 17, 2021

    5 Of Tribe’s Water Rights Claims Are Time-Barred; Rest Transferred To Utah Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on Sept. 15 dismissed five claims in a Native American tribe’s water rights complaint against the United States and Utah and transferred the remaining claims to a Utah federal court.

  • September 09, 2021

    Panel Upholds Dismissal Of Former Tribal Worker’s Wrongful Discharge Claim

    SEATTLE — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 7 affirmed that a former employee of a Washington Indian tribe’s health department cannot pursue a wrongful discharge claim against the United States because he failed to show that his employer was acting under an Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) contract when it decided to fire him, leaving the government immune from suit pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).

  • September 08, 2021

    U.S. Government’s Arguments For Cert In Tribe’s Gaming Row Fail, Texas Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal government uses an inapposite court ruling as precedent in an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, so its arguments favoring a grant of certiorari in a long-running dispute over an Indian tribe’s right to conduct gaming in Texas should be rejected, the state argues in a Sept. 3 supplemental brief in response to the government’s brief filed at the request of the court.

  • September 08, 2021

    Archeological Survey For Mine Can Proceed Over Tribes’ Protests, Judge Rules

    RENO, Nev. — A Nevada federal judge on Sept. 3 denied a request by three Native American tribes for a preliminary injunction to halt an archeological survey for a proposed lithium mine after finding that the tribes failed to show that they would suffer “sufficiently specific irreparable harm” if the work was not delayed for tribal consultations.

  • September 08, 2021

    Judge Says Michigan Can’t Enforce Use Tax Against Tribe, Allows Tobacco Taxes

    MARQUETTE, Mich. — A Michigan federal judge on Aug. 26 enjoined Michigan from enforcing its use tax against an Indian tribe and its members for goods or services that are used both on- and off-reservation because it unconstitutionally does not apportion tax based on where the goods are used, as the judge found in a July 13 ruling that separately granted summary judgment in favor of the state on the tribe’s tobacco tax and other claims.

  • September 07, 2021

    Tribal Couple Petitions High Court Over Tax Liability Finding For Casino Revenue

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Review of an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that an Indian couple must pay federal income taxes on their per capita distributions from a Florida tribe’s casino is needed because it conflicts with federal law on the government’s relations with Indians, the couple argues in an Aug. 13 U.S. Supreme Court petition for a writ of certiorari.

  • September 07, 2021

    Federal Judge:  Minnesota Officials’ Suit Against Tribe, Tribal Judge Not Allowed

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and its officials cannot get injunctive relief in federal court to halt an Indian tribe’s lawsuit in tribal court over water permit approvals for a pipeline project due to the tribe’s sovereign immunity, a Minnesota federal judge determined Sept. 3 in dismissing the DNR’s action.

  • September 07, 2021

    Oklahoma Drops 1 Supreme Court Case Over McGirt; Others Still Pending

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oklahoma on Sept. 3 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss its first petition for a writ of certiorari challenging the court’s landmark criminal jurisdiction ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma, with the state’s attorney general saying in a news release that the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has reinstated the murder conviction in the case that prompted the petition.

  • September 02, 2021

    Federal Judge In Oklahoma Denies Relief To Prisoner Based On McGirt

    OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma man in state prison on drug and weapons charges is not entitled to habeas relief based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma because he is not an Indian and he did not commit a crime against a tribal member, a federal judge held Sept. 1 in denying relief from dismissal of the inmate’s petition.

  • September 01, 2021

    Texas Tribe Not In Contempt For Running Bingo Games, Magistrate Judge Rules

    LUFKIN, Texas — A Texas federal magistrate judge on Aug. 31 declined the state’s request to find an Indian tribe in contempt of a 2002 injunction by operating a bingo hall on its land, finding that gaming like bingo that is regulated by the state is not prohibited for the tribe in the injunction.

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