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.
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.
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.
TUCSON, Ariz. — An Arizona federal judge on Aug. 30 granted a voluntary motion for remand filed by defendants U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in an action brought by Native American tribes seeking to reinstate the repealed 2015 Clean Water Rule and vacate a navigable waters rule. The judge also ordered that, upon remand, the Trump-era rules in place be vacated.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Canadian First Nations-owned cigarette manufacturer urges the U.S. Supreme Court in an Aug. 23 petition for a writ of certiorari to review a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that it says decided an important question of federal law and created conflict with high court precedent and other circuit courts by upholding Connecticut tobacco regulations that allow the state to exercise jurisdiction over out-of-state tribes and companies.
ST. LOUIS — A statute that restores federal recognition to a Native American tribe and limits the tribe’s reservation location to two counties in Nebraska does not preclude gaming on a parcel of land in a different county that the tribe seeks to have taken into trust so it can open a gambling operation there, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Aug. 30 in affirming a trial court’s findings.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — No review is needed of a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling that two treaties with a New York Indian tribe do not exempt tribal members from paying federal tax on income derived from the tribe’s land because the decision is correct and does not conflict with any U.S. Supreme Court or other circuit court decision, the IRS commissioner tells the high court in an Aug. 20 brief in opposition filed at the request of the court.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Texas can enforce its gambling laws on Indian tribes only if the type of gaming in question is prohibited by the state, and regulated gaming in the state like bingo is allowed for tribes and is subject to regulation under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), the United States says in an Aug. 25 amicus curiae brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari in the long-running dispute.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oklahoma filed six more petitions for writs of certiorari on Aug. 16 based on state court convictions in murder and other major crime cases that were later vacated based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on criminal jurisdiction in Indian country in McGirt v. Oklahoma, with all of the petitions seeking reversal of McGirt.
ST. LOUIS — A divided Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 25 affirmed that based on an 1868 treaty and legislation enacted since then, the federal government has a duty “to provide competent, physician-led healthcare” to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota and its members.
SAN FRANCISCO — A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 24 vacated and remanded a lawsuit challenging hydraulic fracturing activity in the Arctic, saying the case was moot because, among other reasons, the legal landscape has changed and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has been updated.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal judge in Alaska on Aug. 18 vacated the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) approval of a hydraulic fracturing development project in the National Petroleum Reserve on Alaska’s North Slope, ruling that the BLM’s analysis of the environmental impact was “arbitrary and capricious” and concluding that the agency acted “contrary to law” with regard to the conclusions it made concerning oil and gas extraction.
TACOMA, Wash. — Imprisoned Native American activist Leonard Peltier, convicted of killing two FBI agents in 1975, cannot pursue a claim for violation of free speech against Washington state officials for removing his paintings from an Indian heritage display due to complaints because his lack of ownership of the paintings means he also lacks standing, a federal judge ruled Aug. 19 in awarding the state defendants summary judgment.
CINCINNATI — A Michigan federal court erred in finding that a Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer did not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by failing to pay Medicare-like rates for hospital services under a health care plan for tribal members, the tribe says in an Aug. 18 reply brief seeking reversal in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal government’s approval of a tribal-state gaming compact allowing a Florida Indian tribe to conduct online sports betting for gamblers anywhere in the state, where sports betting is otherwise illegal, is unlawful and should be vacated, a casino and a card room say in an Aug. 16 lawsuit filed in District of Columbia federal court.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A man can proceed with his illegal search and seizure claims against tribal police officers over an incident at the tribe’s casino because his amended complaint levels allegations against the officers in their individual capacities, so tribal sovereign immunity “is not implicated,” an Indiana federal judge held Aug. 16 in denying the officers’ motion to dismiss.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Department of the Interior (DOI) and a California Indian tribe again won summary judgment, this time on remand from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, in their fight against opponents of the tribe’s planned casino, with a federal judge ruling Aug. 5 that the DOI’s environmental reviews for the project were proper.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Prisoners in Oklahoma whose convictions for major crimes became final before the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark criminal jurisdiction ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma cannot use the decision as a get-out-of-jail-free card, the state’s criminal appeals court held Aug. 12, reversing a trial court’s grant of post-conviction relief for a convicted murderer based on McGirt.
SEATTLE — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 6 affirmed that issue preclusion bars a Washington Indian tribe from seeking a declaration that it is a signatory to an 1855 treaty and that its members still have the treaty-given right to hunt throughout the state because its treaty rights were already determined in prior litigation.
SEATTLE — Sovereign immunity blocks a property owner’s claims against a Washington Indian tribe in a dispute over a strip of land, and the suit fails because the landowner cannot join the tribe and the federal government as parties due to their immunity, a federal judge held Aug. 9 in granting the tribe’s motion to dismiss.