Who Won Indian Law and Policy 2014? First Round Bracket — 5 of 8

In case you weren’t around yesterday, we’ve been playing a little game based on a game Grantland has been playing for a few years — Who Won 2014? Yesterday’s four posts (here, here, here, and here) ask you to vote in the first two categories, Indian nations and Doctrines, Laws, and Issues. Today, we move on to the next two categories.

Category 3 — People and Parties

#1 Hon. Diane Humetewa

The first American Indian woman to serve as a federal judge. ‘Nuff said.


# 16 Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee

The beneficiary of a Ninth Circuit NAGPRA decision dismissing a brought by disgruntled academics against the University of California.

# 8 Bill Wood

Bill’s a good friend with a great sense of humor, so he might be amused. But who else’s first law review article got quoted by the Supreme Court this year?


# 9 Dollar General Corp.

Yes, the people fighting the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. They lost over a downright angry dissent in the Fifth Circuit, but hired Tom Goldstein of  SCOTUSBlog fame and have attracted the Supreme Court’s attention with a CVSG. Now their next hurdle is the OSG. Ah the privilege of opposing tribal interests. Think the tribe would have had the same luck?

# 4 Sarah Deer

Prof. Deer won a coveted MacArthur Foundation Genius grant. If you want to see the lengths people will go to to win one of these (fictionalized), check out Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Synecdoche, New York.

Plus she co-wrote one of the most interesting, compelling, and provocative law review articles of recent times, “Protecting Native Mothers and Their Children: A Feminist Lawyering Approach.” I bet it made ever second year law student articles editor that saw it in the slush pile squirm and quickly turn to another article on Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th-century Bulgaria. Kudos and much appreciation.


# 13 Neal Katyal

Ah, people could be ranked higher, but it’s a competitive game. Prof. Katyal was the victorious orator in the Bay Mills case, and may make another splash with a cert petition he filed for the Seminole Tribe. We’ll know Friday.

# 5 Hon. Kevin Washburn

Ok, let’s see how many feds I can make uncomfortable. How can the Assistant Secretary be seeded so low? It’s like Navajo — there’s an enormous amount of volume, but there’s a lot of bad with the good. This “person and party”, more so than any of the others on this list, is the job more than the person. But this is a great guy, famously self-effacing, humorous (it helps to steal Sam Deloria’s jokes once in a while), kind, generous with his time (UCLA, MSU, Colorado, Fed Bar, Harvard), and individually personable.

But he’s the assistant secretary and a fair percentage of the people reading this blog envision him as sporting devil horns like Tim Curry in Legend.


# 12 Hon. Eric Holder

Fed v. Fed. Another person enveloped by the position. Announced the new ICWA initiative. But also resigned (pending the Senate’s confirmation of his successor).

His agency, the Department of Justice, had an interesting year, opining about marijuana in Indian country, for example.