Northern Arapaho Tribe v. Ashe — Eagle Take Permits

The Court rejects the argument that the record rule applies to Plaintiffs’ RFRA claims because RFRA and the APA provide two distinct causes of action with different standards of review. Plaintiffs lack standing to pursue a declaratory judgment that the FWS violated RFRA by delaying issuance of Plaintiffs’ eagle take permit for two and a half years and injunctive relief ordering the FWS to process Plaintiffs’ future eagle take permit applications within three months of submission because Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate that they are likely to suffer similar delays in the future. Plaintiffs have standing to seek a declaratory judgment that FWS’s refusal to allow eagle take within Plaintiffs’ Reservation violates RFRA and an injunction ordering the FWS to modify Plaintiffs’ current eagle take permit because Plaintiffs have established injury, causation, and redressability. The Court assumes (without deciding) that the FWS’s refusal to allow Plaintiffs to take eagles within their Reservation places a substantial burden on Plaintiffs’ religious exercise, and it concludes that the FWS did not violate RFRA because it advanced and balanced its compelling interests via the least restrictive means. It is therefore
ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment is DENIED.

N Arapaho Motion for Summary Judgment

E Shoshone Amicus Brief


N Arapaho Motion to Amend DCT Order