3 thoughts on “Turtle Talk Poll: What is the Biggest American Indian Law Story of the Year?

  1. Robert O. Saunooke December 20, 2011 / 1:29 pm

    tohono o’odham case. a totally different approach and analysis to years of litigation that will have long term financial and management impact on Tribes. Tribal law and order act is a nice band aid but does little to help Indian Country. There is still no ability for Tribes to try non-Indians; to impose serious sentences; and already there are limitations on the validity of Tribal court convictions. Likewise the Freedmen case only clarifies the disparity in the idea of inherent soveriegnty of Tribes v. the arbitrary decisions of the United States on determination of tribal citizenship and lineage. The Iowa small claims decision is novel but will have little impact. While the NLRB decision may give some clarity, it has always been understood that absent specific inclusion by Congress federal administrative acts do not apply. Not extremely revelatory. What continues to be a major concern for Indian country is the lack of inclusion in the legislative and judicial process. No presence on the federal bench. Failure of the federal government to follow executive mandates for consultation and now facing issues of IRS infringement on the benefits that Tribal members received for education, cultural and other assistance. To me these issues are the biggest and most pressing for 2011 as they impact and reach beyond this year and will be, or should be, a huge focus for Indian Country beyond 2011.

  2. Dan Rey-Bear December 21, 2011 / 7:59 pm

    I think that the biggest Indian law story of the year is that the Obama administration stuck a knife in tribes’ backs before the Supreme Court in United States v. Jicarilla Apache Nation, by asserting that US does not have a meaningful fiduciary relationship with Indian tribes. So much for 200 years of history, legislation, and jurisprudence.

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