CINCINNATI — A Michigan federal court impermissibly rewrote federal regulations to find 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 a May 3 brief on appeal for the second time in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — With no split among controlling precedents and no threat of far-reaching impacts, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling that a New York Indian tribe’s sovereign immunity shields it from a county’s attempt to foreclose on the tribe’s land for unpaid property taxes does not need to be reviewed, the tribe tells the U.S. Supreme in a May 3 response brief.
LANSING, Mich. — A Native American tribe filed a petition April 26 with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) seeking a hearing on and revocation of a permit allowing construction of a tunnel underneath the lakes for a replacement oil and natural gas pipeline.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court said April 27 it will soon consider whether to grant the petition of a Florida church and nearly 100 church members asking whether provisions of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE Act) are unconstitutional and whether an Indian tribe has sovereign immunity from the petitioners’ claims.
PASADENA, Calif. — A 1964 U.S. Supreme Court decree establishing water rights to the Colorado River does not strip a federal court of jurisdiction to decide the Navajo Nation’s breach of trust claim against the Department of the Interior (DOI) for allegedly mismanaging the tribe’s water resources, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 28 in reversing and remanding so the tribe can amend its complaint.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court should decide whether its reservation boundary and criminal jurisdiction ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma applies to a Native American woman’s arrests on a Michigan reservation by county police because the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals declined to address the question, the woman says in her April 19 petition for certiorari.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Senate voted 52-42 to pass Senate Joint Resolution 14, which reverses the decision the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made in the waning days of the Trump administration that rescinded the 2016 Methane Waste Prevention Rule.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on April 26 denied injunctive relief to an Indian tribe seeking to expedite payment of coronavirus relief aid from last year after the tribe chalked up a win on appeal, saying the Treasury Department will soon announce a revised method for allocating the funds.
PIERRE, S.D. — A federal judge on April 20 declined to dismiss a two-count indictment of a tribal member accused of killing his horseshoes companion by mistake on a South Dakota Indian reservation, finding that the court has jurisdiction over the murder and weapons charges under the Major Crimes Act (MCA).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on April 16 dealt South Carolina’s only federally recognized Indian tribe a complete win in its efforts to build a casino in North Carolina, awarding it summary judgment on all claims of two other tribes that were seeking to halt the project.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A casino patron’s slip-and-fall personal injury suit against a New Mexico Indian tribe belongs in tribal court, not state court, under federal law and the tribe’s gaming compact with the state, the tribe says in an April 23 federal complaint seeking a declaration that a state court erred in finding that it has jurisdiction to hear the dispute.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of the Interior (DOI) “followed all of its statutory and regulatory obligations” when it decided to take land into trust in California so an Indian tribe can build a casino at the site, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 16 in affirming summary judgment to the DOI.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Whether Congress would have included Alaska Native corporations (ANCs) in last year’s federal COVID-19 relief funding package without intending for them to receive any money meant for Indian tribes was an oft-repeated query during U.S. Supreme Court oral argument April 19 in a case over the ANCs’ entitlement to the tribal funding.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A man who was arrested and charged on suspicion of passing counterfeit money at a tribal casino cannot pursue federal illegal search and seizure claims against the officers who arrested him because tribal police acting under tribal authority cannot be held individually liable for alleged constitutional violations, an Indiana federal judge ruled April 9, dismissing the man’s suit but with leave to amend.
RICHMOND, Va. — Two Virginia men filed a class action April 13 against officials of a California Indian tribe seeking to void allegedly usurious loans they received from the tribe’s businesses and hold the officials liable for racketeering and conspiracy.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Washington Indian tribe is not entitled to receive contract support costs from the Department of Health and Human Services for money the tribe collects from insurers for health care services based on the language of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEEA), the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 13, affirming judgment in favor of HHS.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The lower courts properly relied on the doctrine of ecclesiastical abstention in refusing to decide a church leadership dispute involving the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and doing otherwise would have gone against U.S. Supreme Court precedents, a pastor’s widow says in an April 8 brief in opposition filed at the high court’s request.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alaska Native corporations (ANCs) are eligible to be treated as Indian tribes under last year’s federal COVID-19 relief funding measure, and stopping them from receiving $162.3 million set aside for tribal governments “would have devastating consequences for Alaska and its natives,” the U.S. Treasury secretary and ANCs tell the U.S. Supreme Court in April 9 final reply briefs before oral argument.
MADISON, Wis. — Indian property that is owned by an Indian is not taxable by Wisconsin and its municipalities, although Indian property that was once sold to a non-Indian is still subject to taxation, even when the property is sold back to an Indian, a federal judge held April 9 in deciding the tax dispute on cross-motions for summary judgment.
SEATTLE — Due to the change in presidential administrations, a federal executive agency on April 8 withdrew approval of the sale of the national archives building in Seattle so it can discuss the proposal with Native American tribes, dozens of which recently received an injunction in Washington federal court to halt the sale.