Mealey's Native American Law

  • November 06, 2020

    Census Success Means Tribes, Others Cannot Show Harm, Government Tells 9th Circuit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal court erred in issuing an injunction extending the 2020 census deadline, which was eventually stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the groups, municipalities and Indian tribes seeking the extension due to the COVID-19 pandemic cannot show irreparable harm because the count achieved a higher enumeration rate than other recent censuses, the federal government argues in an Oct. 23 opening brief on the merits in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (National Urban League, et al. v. Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., et al., No. 20-16868, 9th Cir.).

  • November 05, 2020

    9th Circuit Affirms Denial Of Injunction For Tribe To Stop Border Wall Work

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 4 upheld the denial of injunctive relief for a California Indian tribe seeking to halt construction of the Mexican border wall, holding that the tribe failed to show that it will be harmed if the work continues (La Posta Band of the Diegueño Mission Indians v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 20-55941, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 34913).

  • November 04, 2020

    Judge: Fracking Lease Case To Proceed Despite Inability To Add Council As A Party

    TULSA, Okla. — A federal judge in Oklahoma on Nov. 2 ruled that a landowner’s case against the federal agencies that approved oil and gas leases for hydraulic fracturing could proceed despite the fact that the court could not add as a required party a Native American mineral council that was instrumental in approving the leases (David P. Hayes v. David L. Bernhardt, et al., No. 16-615, N.D. Okla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204045).

  • November 03, 2020

    Precedent, Conflicts Support Cert For Tribal Police Jurisdiction Ruling, U.S. Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A man facing federal drug charges provides no valid argument why the U.S. Supreme Court should not grant the United States’ request to review a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling limiting an Indian police officer’s jurisdiction in his case, the federal government says in its Oct. 28 petitioner reply brief (United States v. Joshua James Cooley, No. 19-1414, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 02, 2020

    Mnuchin Joins Alaska Native Corporations In Seeking Review Of CARES Act Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A second petition for certiorari was filed Oct. 21 with the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ denial of COVID-19 emergency federal relief funding to Alaska Native corporations, with petitioner U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arguing that review is needed “to restore uniformity to federal law” on whether the corporations are considered “Indian tribes” (Steven T. Mnuchin v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, et al., No. 20-543, U.S. Sup.).

  • November 02, 2020

    Tribal Casino Patron Loses 5th Circuit Appeal Over Alleged $20M Slots Win

    NEW ORLEANS — A man cannot pursue claims that an Indian casino in Louisiana fraudulently denied him a more than $20 million jackpot in a slot machine because the tribal defendants are protected by sovereign immunity or were not served properly, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 28 (Shannon Demond Dotson v. Tunica-Biloxi Gaming Commission, et al., No. 20-30261, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 33925).

  • November 02, 2020

    Washington Tribe Denied Cert For Rejection Of Expanded Fishing Rights

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision denying a Washington Indian tribe’s challenge to its traditional fishing grounds in Puget Sound stands after the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 2 denied the tribe’s petition for review (Muckleshoot Indian Tribe v. Tulalip Tribes, et al., No. 20-195, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 28, 2020

    Split District Of Columbia Panel Dissolves Stay Of Methane Rule Rescission

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A split panel of the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 27 denied the stay sought by environmental groups, states and municipalities to prevent the implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to rescind the 2016 Methane Waste Prevention Rule that pertains to pollution caused by the flaring of methane during oil and gas operations (California, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, No. 20-1357, Environmental Defense Fund, et al. v. Andrew Wheeler, et al., No. 20-1359, [consolidated] D.C. Cir.).

  • October 27, 2020

    2nd Circuit Upholds Judgment For New York Tribe On County’s Tax Foreclosures

    NEW YORK — A New York Indian tribe’s sovereign immunity protects it from a county’s attempt to foreclose on the tribe’s land for not paying property taxes, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decided Oct. 23 in affirming summary judgment for the tribe (Cayuga Indian Nation of New York v. Seneca County, N.Y., No. 19-0032, 2nd Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 33432).

  • October 23, 2020

    Alaska Native Corporations Petition High Court Over Denial Of CARES Act Funds

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Alaska Native corporations turned to the U.S. Supreme Court Oct. 21 in their fight for $162.3 million in COVID-19 emergency federal relief funding, saying in a petition for certiorari that they are indeed “Indian tribes” entitled to the funding pursuant to statute and precedent (Alaska Native Village Corporation Association, Inc., et al. v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, et al., No. n/a, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 23, 2020

    7th Circuit:  Lack Of Valid Claims, Not Sovereign Immunity, Bars Ex-Worker’s Suit

    CHICAGO — A tribal member from Wisconsin failed to state a valid claim in her wrongful termination suit against a tribally owned hotel, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 21 in affirming a federal court’s alternate grounds for dismissal of the action (Crystal Holtz v. Oneida Airport Hotel Corporation, et al., No. 20-1797, 7th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 33206).

  • October 22, 2020

    Texas Tribe Files Petition Over State Injunction Barring Its Gaming Activities

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court needs to turn back the clock and overturn a 1994 Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling on a Texas Indian tribe’s right to conduct gaming on its lands, tribal parties say in their Oct. 9 petition for certiorari seeking review of a more recent Fifth Circuit decision based on the earlier case (Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, et al. v. Texas, No. 20-493, U.S. Sup., 2020 U.S. S. CT. BRIEFS LEXIS 3180).

  • October 20, 2020

    COMMENTARY: Conducting A Civil Jury Trial In COVID-19 Times

    By John P. Katerndahl

  • October 19, 2020

    Justice Cites McGirt In Dissent Of Cert Denial For Tribal Gaming Device Tax Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 19 declined to take up a taxation dispute in Oklahoma involving a Native American tribe’s gambling machines over the dissent of Justice Clarence Thomas, who said the court is obligated to review the issue after creating “‘significant uncertainty’ about basic government functions” in the state with its decision in the landmark McGirt v. Oklahoma, 591 U.S. ___ (2020) (Rogers County Board of Tax Roll Corrections, et al. v. Video Gaming Technologies, Inc., No. 19-1298, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 19, 2020

    9th Circuit Says Navajo Members Lack Standing To Enjoin Arizona’s Voting Deadline

    SAN FRANCISCO — Six members of the Navajo Nation do not have standing to seek an injunction forcing Arizona to extend the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 general election because they did not show that they will be personally harmed by the normal 7 p.m. Election Day deadline, even though some tribal members face hardships when voting, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Oct. 15 (Darlene Yazzie, et al. v. Katie Hobbs, No. 20-16890, 9th Cir.).

  • October 16, 2020

    Tribal Police Jurisdiction Ruling Unremarkable, Criminal Defendant Tells High Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A man facing federal drug charges tells the U.S. Supreme Court in an Oct. 15 response requested by the court that certiorari is not warranted for a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling limiting an Indian police officer’s jurisdiction in his case because the decision does not conflict with high court rulings and is not in “serious tension” with various state courts decisions, as the government argued (United States v. Joshua James Cooley, No. 19-1414, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 14, 2020

    Supreme Court Grants Stay So Government Can End COVID-Delayed Census

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court issued an unsigned order Oct. 13, over the dissent of one justice, allowing the 2020 census to end now rather than having the count continue to the end of the month as a lower court had ordered due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., et al. v. National Urban League, et al., No. 20A62, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 14, 2020

    Johnson & Johnson Adds $1B To $4B Offer To Settle Current, Future Opioids Claims

    NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson on Oct. 13 announced that it will contribute an additional $1 billion to what it calls its “all-in settlement amount,” previously announced for $4 billion, to resolve current and future opioids claims by states, cities, counties and Native American tribes.

  • October 13, 2020

    ‘Wholesale Rewriting’ Of Fishing Decree Demands Review, Washington Tribe Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Supreme Court intervention is justified for a divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling denying a Washington Indian tribe’s challenge to its traditional fishing grounds in Puget Sound because the trial court had continuing jurisdiction to decide the matter, the tribe says in its Oct. 7 reply brief (Muckleshoot Indian Tribe v. Tulalip Tribes, et al., No. 20-195, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 09, 2020

    Feds Seek Supreme Court Stay So Census Can End Now And Data Can Be Processed

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The federal government on Oct. 7 asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stay an injunction in its attempt to end the COVID-19 delayed 2020 census now so it can meet the Dec. 31 statutory deadline to submit final population count numbers for apportioning congressional seats, Electoral College votes and $1.5 trillion in federal funding (Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., et al. v. National Urban League, et al., No. 20A62, U.S. Sup.).

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