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Indian Law Bulletins  |  U.S. Supreme Court  | 1999-2000 Term

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1999 - 2000 U.S. Supreme Court Term

 

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Cases Decided
Two Indian law-related cases were decided by the Supreme Court in the 1999-2000 term.

Arizona v. California
530 U.S. 392
Docket No. 8 Original

Wise Law Library's Arizona v. California Collection - contains more than 160 full-text, searchable pleadings, briefs, orders, transcripts, and reports from the 12-year original proceeding in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Subjects: Water rights -- California -- Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico); Water rights -- Arizona -- Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico); Reserved water rights -- Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation, California & Arizona; Reserved water rights -- Colorado River Indian Tribes of the Colorado River Indian Reservation, Arizona and California; Reserved water rights -- Fort Mojave Indian Tribe of Arizona, California & Nevada; United States.

*Issues: Did the United States reserve water rights on behalf of five Indian reservations?

Holding: (from Westlaw) Following determination that United States had reserved water rights for such reservations, 373 U.S. 546, 83 S.Ct. 1468, 10 L.Ed.2d 542, grant of tribes' motions to intervene, 460 U.S. 605, 103 S.Ct. 1382, 75 L.Ed.2d 318, and grant of States' motion to reopen decree, the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg, held that: (1) claims of Quechan Tribe for increased rights to water for disputed boundary lands of Fort Yuma Reservation were not precluded by Supreme Court decision finding, inter alia, that United States had reserved water rights for reservations; (2) such claims were not precluded by consent judgment entered in prior Court of Claims proceeding in which Tribe had challenged 1893 Agreement providing for Tribe's cession of such disputed lands; and (3) settlements of claim for additional water for Fort Mojave Reservation and Colorado River Indian Reservation would be approved.
Order accordingly.

History: Decision June 19, 2000. Case history extends back to 1952.

*Holding below: Supreme Court held that: 1) the claims of the Quechan Tribe and of United States on tribe's behalf for increased water rights for disputed boundary lands of Fort Yuma Reservation were not precluded by water rights ruling in Arizona v. California, 373 U.S. 546; 2) nor were such claims precluded by consent judgment entered in prior Court of Claims proceeding in which Tribe had challenged 1893 Agreement providing for Tribe's cession of such disputed lands, and 3) settlements of claim for additional water for Fort Mojave Reservation and Colorado River Indian Reservation would be approved.

Rice v. Cayetano
528 U.S. 495
Docket No. 98-818

Subjects: Native Hawaiians -- Defined; Hawaiians -- Defined; United States. Constitution. 14th Amendment; United States. Constitution. 15th Amendment; Election law -- Hawaii; Suffrage -- Hawaii; Race discrimination -- Hawaii.

*Issues: Did court of appeals err in holding that 14th and 15th Amendments permit adoption of explicit racial classification that restricts right to vote in statewide elections for state officials?

Holding: (from Westlaw) The Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy, held that:
(1) limiting voters to those persons whose ancestry qualified them as either a “Hawaiian” or “native Hawaiian,” as defined by statute, violated Fifteenth Amendment by using ancestry as proxy for race, and thereby enacting a race-based voting qualification;
(2) exclusion of non-Hawaiians from voting for OHA trustees was not permissible under cases allowing differential treatment of certain members of Indian tribes;
(3) voting qualification was not permissible under cases holding that one-person, one-vote rule did not pertain to certain special purpose districts; and
(4) voting qualification was not saved from unconstitutionality on theory that voting restriction merely ensured an alignment of interests between fiduciaries and beneficiaries of a trust.
Reversed.

History: Petition for certiorari filed November 17, 1998. Petition for review granted March 22, 1999. Interim order September 10, 1999. Oral Argument heard October 6, 1999. Decision February 23, 2000.

*Holding below: Rice v. Cayetano, 146 F.3d 1075, 9th Cir. Neither equal protection clause nor 15th Amendment bars restricting participation in elections for trustees of Office of Hawaiian Affairs--who administer public trust funds set aside for betterment of ''native Hawaiians'' and ''Hawaiians,'' i.e., descendants of aboriginal people who inhabited Hawaii in 1778 and thereafter--to only those voters who meet blood quantum requirement for native Hawaiian or Hawaiian, who constitute only group with stake in trust and funds administered by OHA trustees, who have no general governmental powers and perform no general governmental functions.

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Petition for certiorari pending
Petition for certiorari was pending in one Indian law-related case this term.
This case was carried over into the 2000-2001 term.

Great Western Casinos Inc. v. Morongo Band of Mission Indians
Docket No. 99-1756

Subjects: Sovereign immunity -- Tribes; Sovereign immunity -- Tribes -- Government agencies; Sovereign immunity -- Tribes -- Officials and employees; Civil jurisdiction -- California; Breach of contract -- Morongo Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians of the Morongo Reservation, California; Great Western Casinos; Indian gaming -- Morongo Band of Cahuilla Mission Indians of the Morongo Reservation, California; Preemption of state law -- United States.

*Issues: 1. Does the doctrine of sovereign immunity accorded to Indian tribes extend to non-tribe defendants, including tribal council, tribal council members, tribal members, and the tribe's attorneys? 2. Is action against non-tribe defendants preempted by federal law despite Congress' mandate, codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1360, specifying that California's state courts shall have jurisdiction over civil causes of action in which Indians are party?

History: Petition for certiorari filed May 1, 2000.

*Holding below: Great Western Casinos Inc. v. Morongo Band of Mission Indians, 88 Cal. Rptr. 2d 828, 9th Cir. Casino management company's complaint against Indian tribal council members and individual tribal members, stemming from tribe's allegedly wrongful termination of contract to manage its gaming operations, is in reality complaint against tribe and is thus barred by tribe's sovereign immunity; in providing legal representation to tribe--even in allegedly advising, counseling, and conspiring with tribe to wrongfully terminate management contract--non-Indian law firm and attorneys are immune from suit for actions taken or opinions given in rendering legal services to tribe; federal law has completely preempted field of Indian gaming, and thus state court has no jurisdiction over management company's claims against tribe and various other defendants stemming from allegedly wrongful termination of contract to operate gaming at tribe's casino; jurisdiction over such claims is not conferred on state court by 28 U.S.C. § 1360, which confers jurisdiction only over individual Indians and was intended to cover only civil litigation involving strictly private persons or private property touching on such matters as laws of contract, tort, marriage, divorce, insanity, descent, and so forth.

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Petition for certiorari denied
Petition for certiorari was denied in twenty-nine Indian law-related cases this term.

Court of Indian Offenses of the Choctaw Nation v. Dry
Docket No. 98-1879

Subjects: United States. Indian Civil Rights Act; Detention of persons -- Defined; In custody -- Defined; Habeas corpus; Jurisdiction.

*Issues: (1) For purposes of habeas corpus review, is ''detention,'' as used in Indian Civil Rights Act, synonymous with phrase ''in custody,'' as employed in 28 U.S.C. § 2241? (2) If not, are individuals who have been released on their own recognizance by tribal court pending trial for violations of tribal law, and whose movements are in no way restricted, under ''detention'' within meaning of 25 U.S.C. § 1303, absent any special circumstances? (3) If ''detention'' and ''in custody'' are synonymous, are such persons ''in custody'' for purposes of federal habeas corpus review under this court's case law? (4) If so, should Justices of Boston Municipal Court v. Lydon and its progeny be overruled insofar as those cases hold that they are? (5) In case of first habeas corpus petition, should abuse of writ be found when, as here, theory upon which petition relies has already been rejected in numerous decisions of state, federal, and tribal courts following years of protracted pretrial litigation by petitioners?

History: Petition for certiorari filed May 21, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied October 4, 1999.

*Holding below: Dry v. CFR Court of Indian Offenses for the Choctaw Nation, 168 F.3d 1207, 10th Cir. Under Indian Civil Rights Act, 25 U.S.C. § 1301 et seq., which makes habeas corpus ''available to any person, in a court of the United States, to test the legality of his detention by order of an Indian tribe,'' ''detention'' under Section 1303 is analogous to ''custody'' within meaning of federal habeas statute, 28 U.S.C. § 2241; petitioners who were charged, arraigned, and released on own recognizance pending trial in tribal court meet ''in custody'' requirement of Section 2241 under rationale of Justices of Boston Municipal Court v. Lydon, 466 U.S. 294 (1984), and, therefore, district court erred in dismissing their habeas petition regardless of whether its jurisdiction was based on Section 1303 or Section 2241.

Johnson v. Gila River Indian Community
Docket No. 99-162

Subjects: United States. Indian Civil Rights Act; Sovereign immunity -- Gila River Indian Community of the Gila River Indian Reservation, Arizona; Jurisdiction -- Gila River Indian Community of the Gila River Indian Reservation, Arizona; Judicial power -- Gila River Indian Community of the Gila River Indian Reservation, Arizona; Land tenure.

*Issues: (1) Did district court improperly dismiss petitioner's claims against Gila River Indian Community for relief under 28 U.S.C. § 1331? (2) Did petitioner's allegation of unlawful exercise of tribal court judicial power require district court to conduct evidentiary hearing to determine under Section 1331 whether tribal court exceeded lawful limits of its jurisdiction?

History: Petition for certiorari filed July 21, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied October 4, 1999.

*Holding below: Johnson v. Gila River Indian Community, 174 F.3d 1032, 9th Cir. Indian tribes possess common law immunity from suit in federal court, and thus district court properly dismissed individual's Indian Civil Rights Act claims against tribe alleging that tribe had unconstitutionally converted his property by its appellate court's unreasonable delay in ruling on his appeal from judgment against him by tribal court that lacked personal jurisdiction over him.

Lee v. Hawaii
Docket No. 98-1982

Subjects: Due process of law -- Hawaii; Hawaii. Constitution (1950); United States. Constitution. 14th Amendment; Native Hawaiians; Traffic regulations -- Hawaii; Insurance, No-fault automobile -- Hawaii.

*Issues: (1) By abolishing tort liability, does Hawaii no-fault law deny due process in violation of 14th Amendment by depriving defendant and native Hawaiians of right of redress, guaranteed by 1840 Kingdom of Hawaii Constitution, and right of recovery for tort injuries, established by subsequent legislation and judicial decisions? (2) Given state statutes requiring citation of both driver and registered owner upon same traffic ticket for no-fault insurance violations, was defendant denied due process by affirmance of his conviction after trial at which traffic citation was not introduced into evidence, defendant was not identified as driver only or registered owner, and defendant was not identified as recipient of no-fault citation?

History: Petition for certiorari filed June 7, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied October 4, 1999.

*Holding below: State v. Lee, 976 P.2d 444, 3rd Cir. Police officer's testimony that defendant failed to produce insurance card and admitted that he did not have card was sufficient to establish that defendant and vehicle he was driving were uninsured, in violation of state statute, Haw. Rev. State. § 431:10C-104, making it crime to operate vehicle without no-fault insurance; statute does not require prosecution to prove that defendant was owner of vehicle or to identify registered owner; even if trial court were required to cause appearance of registered owner of vehicle as well as driver, failure to do so would not provide basis for reversing driver's conviction; 1840 Constitution of Kingdom of Hawaii, upon which defendant relies for his argument that no-fault law is invalid, no longer remains in force.

Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida v. United States
Docket No. 98-1692

Subjects: Due process of law -- Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida; Equality before the law -- Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida; Trusts and trustees -- United States; Discovery (Law); Breach of trust -- United States.

*Issues: (1) Were Indian tribe and its chairman entitled to discovery prior to summary judgment when their complaint alleged violations of constitutional rights and violations of Indian trust doctrine and when allegations did not involve individual capacity claims for damages against officials? (2) Was affirmance by Eleventh Circuit of summary judgment by district court, prior to discovery, improper under Crawford-El v. Britton, 523 U.S. 574, 66 U.S.L.W. 4311 (1998), and other precedent? (3) Even if Crawford-El v. Britton created new pleading standard for constitutional claims not involving individual capacity suits for damages, was Eleventh Circuit required to remand case to trial court to afford petitioners opportunity to amend their complaint since Crawford-El was decided after case at bar was on appeal?

History: Petition for certiorari filed April 21, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied October 4, 1999.

*Holding below: Miccosukee Tribe of Indians v. United States, 163 F.3d 1359, 11th Cir. Absent (i) genuine issue of material fact as to Native American tribe's due process and equal protection claims against state and federal defendants, and (ii) demonstration of how further discovery would enable tribe to rebut showing of such absence of genuine issue of material fact, and in absence of federal defendants' violation of their trust duties to tribe, district court did not abuse its discretion in denying tribe's Fed.R. Civ.P. 56(f) motion to postpone consideration of defendants' summary judgment motions and in staying discovery pending disposition of those motions.

New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Dept. v. Ramah Navajo School Bd.
Docket No. 99-59

Subjects: Motor fuels -- Taxation -- New Mexico; Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; Gasoline -- Storage -- On Indian reservations -- Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; Ramah Navajo School Board; Distributors (Commerce) -- New Mexico; United States. Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.

*Issues: Is state gasoline tax imposed on purchase of gasoline by non-Indian gasoline dealer from non-Indian refinery off reservation preempted by 1975 Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, 25 U.S.C. § 450 et seq., simply because gasoline is subsequently resold to tribal entity on reservation with cost of tax passed on as one of gasoline dealer's imbedded costs?

History: Petition for certiorari filed July 6, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied October 12, 1999.

*Holding below: Ramah Navajo Sch. Bd. v. New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Dept., 977 P.2d 1021, 10th Cir. Provisions of 1975 Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, whose purpose is to encourage Indian entities to assume education-related duties that would otherwise be performed by federal agencies and which mandates that Indian entity should receive as much federal funding for performing such services as federal agency would receive, preempt state gasoline taxes to extent that gasoline was sold to tribal school board that operates programs under 1975 statute for its exclusive use, because taxes, assessed against non-Indian distributors and passed along to board as part of cost, undermine act to extent that tribal board must bear economic burden of taxes that, under state law, would not have been imposed if gasoline had been for exclusive use of agency or instrumentality of United States.

New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Dept. v. Ramah Navajo School Bd.
Docket No. 99-228

Subjects: Motor fuels -- Taxation -- New Mexico; Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; Gasoline -- Storage -- On Indian reservations -- Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; Ramah Navajo School Board; Distributors (Commerce) -- New Mexico; United States. Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.

*Issues: Does Indian tribal governmental entity present cognizable claim under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988 when its rights under 1975 Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA), 25 U.S.C. §§ 450-450n, have been violated by state excise tax that deprive it of significant, measurable, and predictable financial resources appropriated by Congress for express purpose of improving tribal education, health and environment?

History: Petition for certiorari filed August 5, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied October 12, 1999.

*Holding below: Ramah Navajo Sch. Bd. v. New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Dept., 977 P.2d 1021, 10th Cir. Although state entities and officials may be sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for injunctive or declaratory relief, U.S. Supreme Court held in National Private Truck Council, Inc. v. Oklahoma Tax Comm'r, 515 U.S. 582 (1995), that § 1983 action for injunctive or declaratory relief (and accompanying claim for attorney's fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988) will not lie with respect to imposition of state tax if state provides adequate remedy at law; accordingly, because district court did not err in ruling that N.M. Tax Administration Act provides adequate remedy for Native American school board to challenge disputed taxes, district court's dismissal of § 1983 claims in connection with such taxes is affirmed. Native American school board, as assignee of gasoline distributors, sought refund of state gasoline taxes assessed against the distributors before gasoline was delivered to Ramah Navajo reservation. The Taxation and Revenue Dept. denied the refund request and the board sought judicial review. The district court granted summary judgment for the Department and the board appealed. The court of appeals held that: (1) Board could not bring claims for injunctive or declaratory relief under § 1983; (2) there was no preemption of the gasoline taxes by implication under ISDEAA; but (3) under general preemption doctrine, the gasoline taxes were preempted to the extent that they made it more costly for the Native American school board to perform services than it would be for federal agencies to perform the same services.

New York v. Seneca Nation of Indians
Docket No. 99-269

Subjects: Seneca Nation of New York; Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians of New York; New York (State); New York State Thruway Authority; Conveyancing; Grand Island (N.Y. : Island); Niagara River (N.Y. and Ont.); Treaties -- Ratification; United States. Trade and Intercourse Act; Land tenure; Interest (Ownership rights); Indian title -- New York (State); Treaty of Canandaigua (1794); United States. Constitution. 11th Amendment.

*Issues: Is continued involvement of Seneca Nation of Indians and Tonawanda Band of Seneca Indians in these federal land claim actions against New York barred by 11th Amendment because, notwithstanding intervention of United States years after actions were commenced, actions are not at instance and under control of responsible federal officers and thus New York has never consented to them?

History: Petition for certiorari filed August 16, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied January 10, 2000.

*Holding below: Seneca Nation of Indians v. New York, 178 F.3d 95, 2nd Cir. Indian tribes' claims in their action against New York that are identical to those raised by United States as intervenor are not barred by 11th Amendment.

Pink v. Modoc Indian Health Project
Docket No. 99-182

Subjects: Modoc Indian Health Project; Indian business enterprises -- Alturas Indian Rancheria, California; Indian business enterprises -- Cedarville Rancheria, California; Jurisdiction -- Tribes; Indian business enterprises -- Off Indian reservations; Constitutional law -- Tribes; United States. Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title 7; Discrimination in employment; Tribes -- Defined.

*Issues: (1) Does provision in tribal constitution that expressly limits tribe's jurisdiction to within boundaries of tribe's reservation preclude tribe from creating corporation that would enjoy status of tribe, if corporate offices of such corporation are located, and activities are conducted, outside boundaries of reservation and outside of Indian country? (2) Is tribal corporation, located off reservation and created by consortium of tribes whose constitutions expressly limit their jurisdiction to within confines of their respective reservations, considered tribe for purpose of exemption from Title VII? (3) Is tribal corporation, located off reservation and created by consortium of tribes whose constitutions expressly limit their jurisdiction to within confines of their respective reservations, immune from suit in federal court, when no tribal court exists?

History: Petition for certiorari filed May 18, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied October 4, 1999.

*Holding below: Pink v. Modoc Indian Health Project, 157 F.3d 1185, 9th Cir. Nonprofit corporation incorporated by two Indian tribes that provides health services to tribal members under federal Indian self-determination contract with Department of Health and Human Services is ''tribe'' within meaning of Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act's exemption of tribes from definition of ''employer,'' thus precluding former employee's suit against corporation alleging Title VII violations.

Yankton Sioux Tribe v. United States
Docket No. 99-34

Subjects: Sovereign immunity -- Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota; Attachment and garnishment; United States. Federal Debt Collection Procedure Act; Persons -- Defined.

*Issues: Can Indian tribe's sovereign immunity be waived absent clear and unequivocal congressional statement of waiver?

History: Petition for certiorari filed June 30, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied October 12, 1999.

*Holding below: United States v. Weddell, 187 F.3d 645, 8th Cir. Court affirms district court's ruling that Federal Debt Collection Procedure Act, which defines ''person'' who may be sued as garnishee to include ''an Indian tribe,'' 28 U.S.C. § 3002(10), clearly and unequivocally expressed waiver of Indian tribes' sovereign immunity, and thus subjected tribe, as garnishee, to garnishment suit against one of its members.

Sac & Fox Nation of Oklahoma v. Cuomo
Docket No. 99-1486

Subjects: Sac & Fox Nation, Oklahoma; United States. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development; Federal question; Jurisdiction -- United States; Federal aid to housing; Housing authorities -- Tribes -- United States.

*Issues: (1) Under due process standards and standard requiring short and plain statement of grounds upon which court's jurisdiction depends, did petitioners receive fair hearing on complaint alleging that federal officials named as defendants were misallocating federally appropriated funds to detriment of plaintiff Indian tribes invoking federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1361-1362 but not citing specific federal law? (2) Under ''appearance of bias'' standard of 28 U.S.C. § 455(a) and due process required by Fifth Amendment, were petitioners denied their right to fair and impartial magistrate when presiding judge: (a) had, prior to becoming federal judge, previously appeared as attorney of record for one or more of defendants in prior litigation involving plaintiff and same or similar issues, (b) did not document in record actual extent of involvement in prior litigation when denying motion to recuse, and (c) managed litigation in fashion from which one could reasonably infer that plaintiffs were being effectively denied relief without ever being allowed their day in court?

History: Petition for certiorari filed March 8, 2000. Petition for certiorari denied June 12, 2000.

*Holding below: Sac & Fox Nation of Oklahoma v. Cuomo, 193 F.3d 1162, 10th Cir. Indian tribes' allegation that another tribe's housing authority was encroaching upon their operational/jurisdictional areas as defined by state law did not raise federal question, Department of Housing and Urban Development regulation cited by tribes' counsel in footnote of reply brief on appeal was insufficient to constitute amendment of their complaint, and thus district court properly dismissed complaint for failure to establish federal question jurisdiction; district judge's prior service as U.S. attorney was not grounds for disqualification absent showing that she personally participated in particular case involving Bureau of Indian Affairs, nothing in judge's rulings in this case provides reasonable basis from which to infer partiality, and thus district judge properly denied tribes' motion to disqualify her.

Buchanan v. Washington
Docket No. 99-783

Subjects: Hunting rights -- Nooksack Indian Tribe of Washington -- Members; Treaty rights -- Nooksack Indian Tribe of Washington -- Members; Treaties -- Interpretation and construction -- Washington (State).

*Issues: Does Washington Supreme Court's restrictive interpretation of Indian hunting rights under Stevens Treaties ignore plain language of those treaties and conflict with settled principles of treaty construction in federal courts?

History: Petition for certiorari filed November 1, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied February 22, 2000.

*Holding below: State v. Buchanan, 978 P.2d 1070, 9th Cir. Geographic scope of hunting rights preserved by treaty to tribe to which defendant belongs extends only to lands ceded by tribe to United States and lands upon which tribe traditionally hunted; dismissal of charges against defendant, on ground that treaty allowed him to hunt anywhere in ''Territory of Washington,'' is reversed.

Washington v. Buchanan
Docket No. 99-964

Subjects: Equal footing doctrine; Hunting rights -- Off Indian reservations -- State supervision -- Washington (State); Hunting rights -- Nooksack Indian Tribe of Washington -- Members; Treaty rights -- Nooksack Indian Tribe of Washington -- Members; Treaties -- Interpretation and construction -- Washington (State).

*Issues: (1) Does equal footing terminate temporary hunting rights at statehood? (2) Did court below ignore ordinary, contemporary, and legal meaning of language ''open and unclaimed'' contained in applicable treaties? (3) Is opinion of court below inconsistent with Minnesota v. Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians, 526 U.S. 172, 67 U.S.L.W. 4189 (1999), by restricting Washington's power to regulate off-reservation hunting by members of treaty tribes only after proof of closure of all citizen hunting and proof that species of wildlife is in danger of extinction?

History: Petition for certiorari filed December 6, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied February 22, 2000.

*Holding below: Washington v. Buchanan, 978 P.2d 1070, 9th Cir. Wildlife area where defendant Native American tribe member killed elk out of season was ''open and unclaimed land'' within meaning of treaty that provided hunting rights to tribe; Native Americans' right under treaty to hunt on such land may be regulated by state only as conservation measure; under prior decisions, admission of Washington into union ''on equal footing'' with original states did not abrogate treaty hunting rights.

Mannatt v. United States
Docket No. 99-892

Subjects: Fort Independence Indian Community of Paiute Indians of the Fort Independence Reservation, California -- Boundaries; Boundary disputes -- Fort Independence Indian Community of Paiute Indians of the Fort Independence Reservation, California; Trust lands -- Fort Independence Indian Community of Paiute Indians of the Fort Independence Reservation, California; United States. Bureau of Land Management; Jurisdiction -- United States.

*Issues: (1) May members of Indian tribe unilaterally alter historic boundary line by removing existing fence and erecting new fence on land that was formerly private property? (2) May federal government change boundary line of executive order Indian reservation by resurveying Indian trust land without congressional approval? (3) May private properties affected by resurvey of Indian trust land challenge validity of resurvey in U.S. district court?

History: Petition for certiorari filed November 24, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied January 25, 2000.

*Holding below: Mannatt v. United States, 185 F.3d 868, 9th Cir. Complaint alleging that Bureau of Land Management had unlawfully relocated boundary of Indian reservation to detriment of owner of property adjacent to reservation was properly dismissed by district court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate dispute involving Indian trust land.

Campbell v. Sletten
Docket No. 99-1320

Subjects: Trespass -- Prairie Island Indian Community in the State of Minnesota; Qualified immunity; Conveyances -- Prairie Island Indian Community in the State of Minnesota; Breach of contract -- Prairie Island Indian Community in the State of Minnesota; Prairie Island Indian Community in the State of Minnesota -- Members; Participation -- United States.

*Issues: (1) Does deputy sheriff or city police officer have requisite authority to deprive enrolled member of Indian community of his federally protected land assignment without participation of United States in form of federal action by means of federal writ, and does taking of Indian's federally protected land assignment by local peace officers acting under color of state law violate federal civil rights legislation? (2) Does ''reasonable belief of reasonable suspicion'' standard proposed by district court in this case have any legal basis, and does such standard meet requisite objective standard of probable cause? (3) Did district court improperly adjudicate disputed issues of material fact in granting qualified immunity to defendant officer?

History: Petition for certiorari filed February 2, 2000. Petition for certiorari denied April 17, 2000.

*Holding below: Campbell v. Sletten, 198 F.3d 249, 8th Cir. Local police officers had probable cause to arrest for criminal trespass enrolled member of Indian community who refused to vacate land assignment that was subject of agreement with Indian community whereby arrestee contracted to convey his land assignment back to community in exchange for another land assignment; officers are entitled to qualified immunity from arrestee's civil rights action.

Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, et al, v. Tamiami Partners Ltd.
Docket No. 99-1013

Subjects: Jurisdiction -- United States; Contracts; United States. Indian Gaming Regulatory Act; Jurisdiction -- Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida; Sovereign immunity -- Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida; Indian Gaming -- Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.

*Issues: (1) Do federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction over contract dispute between management contractor and Miccosukee Tribe? (2) Does Indian Gaming Regulatory Act provide management contractors with private cause of action against Indian tribes? (3) Did Eleventh Circuit err in implying waiver of tribe's sovereign immunity under IGRA?

History: Petition for certiorari filed December 14, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied March 20, 2000.

*Holding below: Tamiami Partners, Ltd. ex rel. Tamiami Development Corp. v. Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Fla., 177 F.3d 1212, 11th Cir. Claim that tribe, in order to take over bingo operation, had in bad faith denied gaming license applications of firm hired by tribe to build and manage tribe's bingo hall arose under federal law by virtue of incorporation into parties' management agreement of Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and its licensing regulations, and thus district court had subject matter jurisdiction over firm's complaint seeking arbitration of its claim; tribe's sovereign immunity was waived by management agreement insofar as firm's complaint seeks (i) declaration that, in accordance with agreement, disputes between firm and tribe that arise out of or relate to agreement are arbitrable, (ii) judgment requiring tribe to comply with prior arbitration award, and (iii) judgment compelling tribe to arbitrate certain disputes relating to agreement.

Roberts v. United States
Docket No. 99-1174

Subjects: Trust lands -- Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; Indian Country (U.S.) -- Defined; Jurisdiction -- United States. United States. Dept. of the Interior -- Powers and duties.

*Issues: (1) Does standardless delegation by Congress of totally ''discretion[ary]'' authority to executive official to acquire land ''for Indians'' amount to unconstitutional delegation of legislative power, as Eighth Circuit has held and Tenth Circuit declined to hold below? (2) If not, is executive official's acquisition of off-reservation property pursuant to this authority enough, standing alone, to transform property into ''Indian country'' as defined in 18 U.S.C. § 1151?

History: Petition for certiorari denied May 15, 2000.

*Holding below: United States v. Roberts, 185 F.3d 1125, 10th Cir. Land owned by United States in trust for Choctaw Nation is ''Indian country,'' particularly in light of district court's findings that property where nation's headquarters is situated was validly set aside for tribe under superintendence of federal government; 25 U.S.C. § 465, which authorizes secretary of interior ''in his discretion, to acquire . . . any interest in lands, . . . within or without existing reservations, including trust . . . , for the purpose of providing land for Indians,'' is proper delegation to secretary of interior of authority to acquire land for Indian tribes; federal courts have jurisdiction over defendant's acts that occurred in Indian country, and his convictions are affirmed.

Ysleta del Sur Pueblo v. Laney
Docket No. 99-1610

Subjects: Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo of Texas; Sovereign immunity -- Texas -- Officials and employees; United States. Constitution. 11th Amendment; United States. Constitution. 14th Amendment; Real property -- Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo of Texas; Conveyances; Land tenure -- Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo of Texas.

*Issues: (1) Does 11th Amendment bar suits against state officials under Ex parte Young, 209 U.S. 123 1908), to recover possession of property? (2) Does decision of Fifth Circuit that Indian tribes cannot recover possession of real property under Ex parte Young violate federal government's trust responsibility to tribes? (3) Does 1834 Indian Non-Intercourse Act abrogate states' 11th Amendment immunity to suits by Indian tribes to recover possession of tribal lands?

History: Petition for certiorari filed April 5, 2000. Petition for certiorari denied May 22, 2000.

*Holding below: Ysleta del Sur Pueblo v. Laney, 199 F.3d 281, 5th Cir. Indian tribe's federal court suit against state and state officials alleging that tribal property was conveyed to state in violation of Indian Nonintercourse Act is barred by 11th Amendment.

Ysleta del Sur Pueblo v. Texas
Docket No. 99-1608

Subjects: Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo of Texas; Sovereign immunity -- Texas -- Officials and employees; United States. Constitution. 11th Amendment; United States. Constitution. 14th Amendment.

*Issues: Did states, by adopting 14th Amendment, waive their 11th Amendment immunity by consenting under "plan of Convention" to suits based on takings clause of Fifth Amendment?

History: Petition for certiorari filed April 5, 2000. Petition for certiorari denied May 15, 2000.

*Holding below: Ysleta del Sur Pueblo v. Texas, 207 F.3d 658, 5th Cir. Fifth Amendment's takings clause does not abrogate states' 11th Amendment immunity by virtue of incorporation into 14th Amendment.

Yakama Indian Nation v. Washington Dep't of Revenue
Docket No. 99-636

Subjects: Sovereign immunity -- Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Washington; Cigarette sellers -- Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Washington; Searches and seizures -- Washington (State); Cigarettes -- Taxation -- Washington (State); Cigarettes -- Transportation -- Washington (State); Commerce -- Law and legislation -- Washington (State).

*Issues: Under College Savings Bank v. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board, 527 U.S. 666, 67 U.S.L.W. 4590 (1999), may state abrogate Indian tribe's sovereign immunity by seizing tribe's property and conditioning its return on tribe's willingness to waive its sovereign immunity and submit to state forfeiture proceedings?

History: Petition for certiorari filed October 12, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied January 18, 2000.

*Holding below: Yakama Indian Nation v. Washington Dept. of Revenue, 176 F.3d 1241, 9th Cir. Eleventh Amendment bars Indian tribe's lawsuit against state for declaratory and injunctive relief and for proceeds from state's sale of cigarettes that state had seized as contraband for tribe's failure to give state required notification of transport to tribe of cigarette packages that did not bear state tax stamps.

Osage Tribal Council v. Department of Labor
Docket No. 99-1482

Subjects: Sovereign immunity -- Osage Tribe, Oklahoma; United States. Safe Drinking Water Act; Drinking water -- Inspection -- On Indian reservations -- Osage Tribe, Oklahoma; United States. Dept. of Labor; Jurisdiction -- United States; Whistle blowing.

*Issues: Did Tenth Circuit err in holding that Indian tribe's sovereign immunity was unmistakably waived by Congress in definition provisions of SDWA, when statute also provides: ''For the purposes of this chapter the term 'Federal Agency' shall not be construed to refer to or include any American Indian Tribe, nor the Secretary of the Interior in his capacity as trustee of Indian lands''?

History: Petition for certiorari filed March 6, 2000. Petition for certiorari denied June 12, 2000.

*Holding below: Osage Tribal Council v. Department of Labor, 187 F.3d 1174, 10th Cir. Whistleblower provision of Safe Drinking Water Act expressly abrogates tribal sovereign immunity by granting Department of Labor jurisdiction over all ''persons,'' defining ''persons'' to include ''municipality,'' and defining ''municipality'' to include ''Indian Tribe,'' thus subjecting tribe to enforcement provisions of SDWA for allegedly discharging environmental inspector in violation of SDWA whistleblower rights.

Davis v. Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians
Docket No. 99-1498

Subjects: Exhaustion of tribal remedies; Sovereign immunity -- Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians; Jurisdiction -- United States; Jurisdiction -- Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians; Torts.

*Issues: (1) Is exhaustion of tribal remedies required when tribe has unequivocally waived its sovereign immunity from liability for torts committed against plaintiff? (2) Can exhaustion of tribal remedies doctrine abolish federal court's jurisdiction to review tribal court's assertion of jurisdiction over federal claim, when tribal appellate court refused review because plaintiff had missed deadline?

History: Petition for certiorari filed March 3, 2000. Petition for certiorari denied May 1, 2000.

*Holding below: Davis v. Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians, 193 F.3d 990, 8th Cir. Tribal member's failure to file timely notice of appeal from tribal court's decision dismissing her claims against tribe and its attorney precludes federal district court jurisdiction over her claims for failure to exhaust tribal court remedies; tribe's purported waiver of sovereign immunity does not do away with exhaustion requirement.

Oglala Sioux Tribal Public Safety Department v. Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior
Docket No. 99-1239

Subjects: United States. Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act; Public contracts -- United States; Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota -- Finance; Overhead costs -- Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota.

*Issues: Did Congress, by ''notwithstanding'' clause in 25 U.S.C. 450j-1(b), avoid and in effect eliminate its contractual obligation arising from 25 U.S.C. 450 et seq., thereby vitiating entire Indian Self-Determination Act?

History: Petition for certiorari filed January 24, 2000. Petition for certiorari denied May 20, 2000.

*Holding below: Babbitt v. Oglala Sioux Tribal Public Safety Dept., 194 F.3d 1374, Federal Cir. Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act explicitly makes funding of indirect (contract support) costs of ''self-determination'' contracts subject to availability of appropriations, and thus Department of Interior, acting in accordance with 1995 fiscal year appropriations, properly paid tribal contractor only 91.74 percent of what was otherwise owed for contract support costs under 1995 fiscal year contract.

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe v. United States
Docket No. 99-1755

Subjects: Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota; Excise tax -- United States; Tax refunds -- Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota; Persons -- Defined -- United States; Tribes -- Defined -- United States; Taxation -- Law and legislation -- United States.

*Issues: Is Indian tribal government person subject to penalty by 26 U.S.C. 6675?

History: Petition for certiorari denied June 12, 2000.

*Holding below: Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe v. United States, 197 F.3d 949, 8th Cir. Native American tribe is "person" under 26 U.S.C. 6675 subject to penalty for filing excessive federal tax refund claim.

Ysleta del Sur Pueblo v. Texas
Docket No. 99-958

Subjects: Gambling -- Law and legislation -- Texas; Indian gaming -- Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo of Texas; Gambling on Indian reservations -- Texas; United States. Constitution. 11th Amendment; Judgments, Declaratory.

*Issues: Does 11th Amendment bar pueblo's action against Texas for declaration that federal law permits its gaming activities when ''nothing is demanded from the state [and no] claim against it of any description is asserted or prosecuted,'' see Cohens v. Virginia, 19 U.S. (6 Wheat.) 264, 410 (1821)?

History: Petition for certiorari filed December 6, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied February 22, 2000.

*Holding below: Ysleta del sur Pueblo v. Texas, 79 F.Supp.2d 708, 5th Cir. Indian tribe failed to establish standing and ripeness requirements necessary to invoke court of appeals' jurisdiction under Article III, and thus district court's dismissal, on 11th Amendment immunity grounds, of tribe's suit against state seeking declaration that tribe's gaming activities at its casino are in compliance with Texas law is affirmed on alternate ground.

Estate of Red Wolf v. Burlington Northern Railroad Company
Docket No. 98-1521

Subjects: Civil jurisdiction -- Crow Tribe of Montana; Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad; Railroad accidents -- On Indian reservations -- Crow Tribe of Montana; Liability for railroad accidents; Jurisdiction -- Crow Tribe of Montana; Jurisdiction -- United States; Wrongful death; Exhaustion of tribal remedies -- Crow Tribe of Montana.

*Issues: (1) Does main rule in Montana v. United States, 450 U.S. 544 (1981), apply to reservation accident involving tribal members and occurring at intersection of railroad right-of-way and tribal road under jurisdiction, dominion, and control of tribe? (2) Do tribal courts have civil jurisdiction over wrongful death action brought by tribal members arising out of railroad's breach of its congressionally mandated obligation to operate its railroad ''with due regard for the rights of the Indians''? (3) When there exist disputed issues of fact concerning applicability of Montana's main rule or Montana exceptions, is exhaustion of tribal court remedies pursuant to National Farmers Union Ins. Cos. v. Crow Tribe, 471 U.S. 845 (1985), still required? (4) Is tribal consent to state court jurisdiction pursuant to 25 U.S.C. § 1326 mandatory before tribal plaintiff, excluded from tribal court, may pursue alternative forum in either state or federal court?

History: Petition for certiorari denied May 15, 2000.

*Holding below: Burlington Northern Railroad Co. v. Red Wolf, 196 F.3d 1059, 9th Cir. Tribal court lacks jurisdiction over tribal members' tort claim against railroad arising from accident on right-of-way through reservation land granted to railroad by Congress.

Yakama Indian Nation v. Washington Dep't of Revenue
Docket No. 99-1636

Subjects: Indian allotments -- Alaska -- Fairbanks; Alaska Natives; Due process of law -- United States; United States. Alaska National Interests Lands Conservation Act; Limitation of actions; United States. Constitution. 5th Amendment.

*Issues: (1) Does Fifth Amendment's guarantee of due process require government to have provided petitioner with sufficient notice, reasonable time to comply, and oral hearing before government denied his Alaska Native Allotment, or may government instead eliminate requirement of oral hearing by promulgating regulation? (2) Was petitioner's Alaska Native Allotment application "pending before the Department of Interior on or before December 18, 1971" within meaning of Section 905(a) of 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, 43 U.S.C. § 1634(a), so that his allotment either is legislatively approved or must be adjudicated?

History: Petition for certiorari filed April 10, 2000. Petition for certiorari denied June 5, 2000.

*Holding below: Lord v. Babbitt, 188 F.3d 513, 9th Cir. Statute of limitations bars complaint seeking to establish right to Alaska Native Allotment in vicinity of Fairbanks, Alaska, filed in 1994 by individual who received notice of termination, for failure to submit proof of use and occupancy, of his 1957 application for allotment in 1963 by registered mail, receipt for which was signed by his wife; complainant's contention that limitations period should be equitably tolled is barred for reasons expressed by district court, which held that complainant's failure to contest or appeal termination decision, which clearly stated that his application had been terminated, set forth grounds on which it was based, and afforded complainant opportunity to appeal, after receiving actual notice thereof by virtue of notice's delivery to his wife precludes equitable tolling of limitations period.

Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District v. Dawavendewa
Docket No. 99-1628

Subjects: Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District; Indian preference in hiring -- Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah -- Members; Hopi Indians; Independent contractors -- On Indian reservations -- Navajo Nation, Arizona, New Mexico & Utah; Sovereign immunity -- Tribes -- United States; Tribal self-determination -- United States; United States. Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act; United States. Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title 7; Discrimination in employment.

*Issues: (1) Does Ninth Circuit's interpretation frustrate Congress's intent of promoting tribal sovereignty and self-governance, particularly in light of Congress's recent explicit endorsement of tribal-based preferences in context of Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act? (2) Do principles that this court announced in Morton v. Mancari, 417 U.S. 535 (1974), require conclusion that preferences given to Indians based on their tribal affiliation are political (and not based on race or national origin) and are therefore beyond scope of Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act altogether?

History: Petition for certiorari filed April 9, 1999. Petition for certiorari denied January 10, 2000.

*Holding below: Dawavendewa v. Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District, 154 F.3d 1117, 9th Cir. Provision of Title VII of 1964 Civil Rights Act that permits employers to favor Indians over non-Indians, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(i), does not authorize discrimination based on tribal affiliation.

South Dakota v. Yankton Sioux Tribe
Docket No. 99-1490

Subjects: Indian allotments -- Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota; United States. General Allotment Act (1887); Indian Country (U.S.) -- Defined; Diminished Indian reservations -- Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota; Conveyancing; Disestablished Indian reservations -- Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota; Boundaries -- Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota -- Defined.

*Issues: Did 1894 statute ratifying agreement between Yankton Sioux Tribe and United States disestablish Yankton Sioux reservation (as South Dakota Supreme Court held) or does reservation still exist, consisting of more than 1,000 acres of ceded lands, contrary to precise holding of this court in South Dakota v. Yankton Sioux Tribe, 522 U.S. 329, 66 U.S.L.W. 4092 (1998), plus potentially thousands of other scattered and noncontiguous acres (as Eighth Circuit held)?

History: Petition for certiorari filed March 7, 2000. Petition for certiorari denied June 26, 2000.

*Holding below: Yankton Sioux Tribe v. Gaffey, 188 F.3d 1010, 8th Cir. District court judgments are affirmed to extent that court found that Yankton Sioux Reservation has not been disestablished, but reversed to extent that court found 1858 exterior reservation boundaries remain intact and that all nonceded lands remain part of reservation; text of 1894 statute that ratified 1892 agreement between Yankton Sioux Tribe and United States in which federal government allotted to individual tribal members lands previously held in common by tribe and then purchased remaining unallotted lands to open them up for homesteading, and evidence concerning parties' contemporaneous understanding of statute, establish that reservation designated for Yankton Sioux in 1858 was maintained, but do not define its precise boundaries, although historical context makes clear that parties did not intend for tribe to retain control over allotted lands that passed out of trust status and into hands of non-Indians; record's lack of clear information about current amount of Indian trust land on reservation precludes court from defining precise limits of reservation that remains.

Yankton Sioux Tribe v. Gaffey
Docket No. 99-1683

Subjects: Indian allotments -- Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota; United States. General Allotment Act (1887); Indian Country (U.S.) -- Defined; Diminished Indian reservations -- Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota; Conveyancing; Disestablished Indian reservations -- Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota; Boundaries -- Yankton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota -- Defined.

*Issues: (1) Do allotments made under General Allotment Act cease to be "Indian Country" if they are conveyed to non-Indians? (2) Was Yankton Sioux Reservation diminished by conveyance of individual Indian allotments to non-Indians in fee simple?

History: Petition for certiorari filed March 6, 2000. Petition for certiorari denied June 26, 2000.

*Holding below: Yankton Sioux Tribe v. Gaffey, 188 F.3d 1010, 8th Cir. District court judgments are affirmed to extent that court found that Yankton Sioux Reservation has not been disestablished, but reversed to extent that court found that 1858 exterior reservation boundaries remain intact and that all nonceded lands remain part of reservation; text of 1894 statute that ratified 1892 agreement between Yankton Sioux Tribe and United States in which federal government allotted to individual tribal members lands previously held in common by tribe and then purchased remaining unallotted lands to open them up for homesteading, and evidence concerning parties' contemporaneous understanding of statute, establish that reservation designated for Yankton Sioux in 1858 was maintained, but do not define its precise boundaries, although historical context makes clear that parties did not intend for tribe to retain control over allotted lands that passed out of trust status and into hands of non-Indians; record's lack of clear information about current amount of Indian trust land on reservation precludes court from defining precise limits of reservation that remains.

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