Mealey's Native American Law

  • June 14, 2021

    Indian Woman’s Police Jurisdiction Question Rebuffed By High Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — An Indian woman’s request for certiorari on whether the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark reservation boundary and criminal jurisdiction rulings in McGirt v. Oklahoma applied to her arrests on a Michigan reservation by county police was turned down June 14 by the high court.

  • June 10, 2021

    Civil Rights Claims Against Federal Parties Over School Group’s Actions Dismissed

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A designated federal judge in New Mexico on June 9 dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction civil rights claims against the federal government by a woman who says a Native American school district improperly removed her from an elementary school’s Indian Education Committee (IEC).

  • June 10, 2021

    Agency: Opposition To Federal Lease Suspension ‘Based On False Assumptions’

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on June 7 filed a brief in Wyoming federal court arguing that a hydraulic fracturing industry trade group and the state of Wyoming, which seek injunctions against President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s decision to suspend the federal oil and gas leasing program, have not demonstrated a likelihood of imminent irreparable harm related to the suspension of the program because their harm projections “are based on false assumptions.”

  • June 10, 2021

    TC Energy Terminates Keystone XL Pipeline Project

    CALGARY, Alberta — TC Energy Corp. on June 9 announced that “after a comprehensive review of its options,” it has terminated the Keystone XL Pipeline project, which would have carried hydraulically fractured oil and gas from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Neb.

  • June 09, 2021

    Tribe Fails In Challenge To Sale Of Historic School, Federal Judge Says

    NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana Indian tribe does not have a vested property interest in its old schoolhouse, even though the tribe got the building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so a school board did not violate any due process rights of the tribe when it sold the building, a federal judge ruled June 4 in granting the board’s motion to dismiss.

  • June 09, 2021

    Oneida Member Takes Land Ownership Claim To Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 8 scheduled for conference a petition for certiorari from an Oneida Indian Nation member over a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals holding that the tribe is the rightful owner of a 19-acre parcel of land that the tribal member had asserted ownership of, after the tribe on June 7 waived its right to respond to the petition.

  • June 07, 2021

    Tribe Seeks Rehearing On 6th Circuit’s Finding That It Does Not Have A Reservation

    CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruling that a Native American tribe does not have a reservation in Michigan under an 1855 treaty with the United States because the land that was set aside for the tribe consisted of many separate allotments for individual tribal members has created a divide among the courts on sovereignty jurisprudence, the tribe says in a June 1 petition for rehearing by the full court.

  • June 07, 2021

    Certiorari Denied For New York County’s Attempt To Foreclose On Cayuga Land

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 7 declined to review a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling that the tribe’s sovereign immunity shields it from a county’s attempt to foreclose on the tribe’s land for unpaid property taxes.

  • June 07, 2021

    9th Circuit Again Outlines Lummi Tribe’s Puget Sound Fishing Grounds

    SEATTLE — In a case that’s been before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals four times now, a panel in a June 2 memorandum specifically delineated the treaty-granted fishing boundaries of a Native American tribe so the federal trial court can enter the correct judgment for the tribe in a long-running challenge to its Puget Sound fishing grounds by other tribes.

  • June 04, 2021

    Discovery Ordered Against Tribe’s Ex-Officials Who Pleaded Guilty To Embezzlement

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Three formal tribal executives accused of embezzling millions of dollars from the tribe lost their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when they entered guilty pleas to criminal charges, so they must respond to the tribe’s discovery request in its civil racketeering suit against the trio, a California federal judge said June 2 in granting the tribe’s motion to compel.

  • June 04, 2021

    Oil Company:  Groups’ Claim Opposing Alaska Fracking Barred By Limitations Period

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An oil company on May 26 filed a brief in Alaska federal court contending that the environmental claims asserted by a Native American group that opposes hydraulic fracturing in the National Petroleum Reserve on Alaska’s North Slope are barred by a statute of limitations contained in the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act (NPRPA).

  • June 04, 2021

    Federal Judge Refuses To OK Permit For Mount Rushmore Fireworks Display

    PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota probably cannot succeed on its claim that the federal government wrongly denied a permit for an Independence Day fireworks display at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, so the state is not entitled to the “extraordinary remedy” of an injunction ordering the government to approve the fireworks, a federal judge ruled June 2 in a dispute that has drawn opposition from Native American tribes.

  • June 03, 2021

    Judge:  Yakama Nation States Credible Claims Of U.S. Mismanagement Of Forest

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge on May 28 denied a request by the United States to dismiss a breach of fiduciary duty suit filed by a Washington state Indian tribe that says the government is mismanaging the tribe’s forest resources, finding that the court has jurisdiction and the allegations are “facially plausible.”

  • June 02, 2021

    9th Circuit Agrees Tribe Fails In Challenges To Competing Casino

    SAN FRANCISCO — Detriment to a California Indian tribe caused by another tribe’s competing casino does not automatically disallow approval of the competitor’s operation, and the federal government properly followed the two-step process under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in granting that approval, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 1 in affirming summary judgment for the government.

  • June 01, 2021

    DOI Overstepped Powers In Tribal Casino Approval, Card Rooms Argue

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal government wrongly believes that under the powers granted by Congress in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), “it can take jurisdiction over State land, anytime, anywhere, so long as it does so for a tribal purpose,” and review of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ endorsement of that “extreme position” is needed, California card rooms opposed to a tribe’s casino plans tell the U.S. Supreme Court in a May 27 reply supporting their bid for certiorari.

  • June 01, 2021

    Protecting Tribes’ Health, Welfare Gives Officers’ Jurisdiction, Justices Rule

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tribal police have the authority “to detain temporarily and to search” non-Indians traveling on public roads on a reservation “for potential violations of state or federal law,” based mainly on Indian tribes’ sovereign right to protect “the health or welfare of the tribe,” the U.S. Supreme Court held June 1 in reversing a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling.

  • June 01, 2021

    BIA’s Return Of Contract Moots California Tribe’s Suit, Federal Judge Says

    PHOENIX — The production of a signed self-determination contract by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) moots a California Indian tribe’s suit against the agency seeking the return of the approved contract to the tribe, and the tribe’s failure to allege that the BIA has a “pattern or practice” of not returning contracts defeats its bid to avoid mootness, an Arizona federal judge ruled May 27 in granting the government’s motion to dismiss.

  • May 28, 2021

    Supreme Court Stays Oklahoma Criminal Jurisdiction Ruling Pending Cert Petition

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 26 granted Oklahoma’s request for a stay of a state appeals court’s reversal of a man’s murder conviction for the slaying of a Native American woman and her two young children until a planned petition for a writ of certiorari by the state can be decided by the high court.

  • May 27, 2021

    Washington Appeals Court Upholds Land Exchange Over Protests Of Tribes

    TACOMA, Wash. — An environmental review is not required under Washington law for the exchange of land between the state and a private timber company, and the land swap does not affect the treaty rights of any Indian tribe, a state appeals court held May 24 in affirming denial of a tribe’s challenge to the exchange and declining three other tribes’ bid to dismiss the appeal.

  • May 25, 2021

    Indian Woman’s Question Unripe For Supreme Court Review, Respondents Argue

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Supreme Court review is not warranted for an Indian woman’s request for certiorari on whether the high court’s reservation boundary and criminal jurisdiction rulings in McGirt v. Oklahoma apply to her arrests on a Michigan reservation by county police because she failed to press the argument in the lower courts, the county parties say in their May 14 brief in opposition to her petition.

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