Here we go again (first bracket here):
# 2 Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Perhaps the most immediate beneficiary of the Bay Mills win in the Supreme Court, which persuaded the State of Michigan to seek another route to fighting Sault Tribe’s Lansing casino proposal. But not before Sault Tribe proposed two huge off-reservation casinos. Oh yeah, they won a $74 million contract case, too. Pretty good year.
# 15 Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe
# 7 Gun Lake Tribe
Seeding might be a little high; a little hometown bias. Anyway, who else got Congress to overturn a Supreme Court decision in 2014, hosted the Potawatomi Gathering, and is an overall, good citizen?
# 10 Wind River Tribes
Lots of action this last year, what with Wyoming going berzerk over the EPA’s decision to let tribal agencies measure air quality, and with much internal strife. 2015 should be a real interesting year.
# 3 Bay Mills Indian Community
Well, they won a Supreme Court case. Not a whole lot else going on. Sault Tribe, as we noted, passed them in the seeding.
# 14 Cowlitz Tribe
Along with Interior, won a big one over neighboring tribes who claimed Cowlitz is a tribe barred from eligibility for trust land acquisitions by Carcieri.
#6 Navajo Nation
How can Navajo be seeded so low? They’re arguably the most important tribe every year, right? Well, yes, but they took some hits this year, too. Lost a tribal civil jurisdiction case in the Ninth Circuit, lost (or did they concede) on whether New Mexico can transport tribal members off rez to take drug tests, is going through one of the ugliest tribal election disputes in recent memory, fighting off Hopi and enviro challenges to their energy generators, lost a big water rights case, suffered through an ugly internal fight over a tribal resources company, lost one in the D.C. Circuit, got some bad news on uranium pollution, and lost legendary code talker Chester Nez. On the other hand, Navajo settled a huge trust case with the feds, won one against HUD, won a big one in the Ninth Circuit on Navajo’s tribal preference in employment statute, and hosted Michigan and Michigan State law students over spring break.
All in all, no one beats Navajo on volume, but this one’s a mixed bag.
# 11 Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe (and other Wisconsin treaty tribes)
Won a huge treaty rights case in the Seventh Circuit (miigwetch Judge Posner) on the night deer hunting controversy.