Nooksack Federal/State Litigation Update

Tageant v. Ashby (state court tort suit removed to federal court)







Adams v. Elfo (federal court habeas corpus suit)


Adams v. Dodge (state court tort suit)


Doucette v. Zinke (federal APA suit)


Update in San Pasqual Band Membership Suits

Here are the materials in Alegre v. United States (S.D. Cal.):

44 second Amended Complaint

46-1 US Motion to Dismiss

48 Response

49 Reply

50-1 Individual Defendants MTD

53 Response

59 DCT Order Dismissing SAC

62 Third Amended Complaint

68-1 US Motion to Dismiss

79 Response

83 Individual Defendants Reply

85 US Reply

98 DCT Order Dismissing Third Amended Complaint

Nooksack Update: Rabang v. Kelly II (9th Cir.); Doucette v. Bernhardt (W.D. Wash))

District court materials (prior post here):

28 Doucette v. Bernhardt 3-7-19 Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment

32 Doucette v. Bernhardt 4-18-19 Defendants’ Consolidated Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment and in Support of Defendants’ Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment

33 Doucette v. Bernhardt 5-10-19 Plaintiffs’ Consolidated Reply in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment and in Opposition to Defendants’ Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment

34 Doucette v. Bernhardt 5-31-19 Reply re Defendants’ Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment

Ninth Circuit materials:

35 Rabang v. Kelly II 6-13-19 Stay Order

Muscogee Freedmen Descendants Forced to Exhaust Tribal Remedies

Here is the order in Muscogee Creek Indian Freedmen Band v. Bernhardt (D.D.C.):

29 DCT Order

Briefs here.

Fletcher: “Law, Politics, and the Constitution”

Here, on SSRN.

The abstract:

The question whether Congress may create legal classifications based on Indian status under the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause is now reaching a critical point. Critics claim the Constitution allows no room to create race or ancestry based legal classifications. The critics are wrong. 

When it comes to Indian affairs, the Constitution is not colorblind. Textually, I argue, the Indian Commerce Clause and Indians Not Taxed Clause serve as express authorization for Congress to create legal classifications based on Indian race and ancestry, so long as those classifications are not arbitrary, as the Supreme Court stated a century ago in United States v. Sandoval and more recently in Morton v. Mancari. 

Should the Supreme Court reconsider those holdings, I suggest there are significant structural reasons why the judiciary should refrain from applying strict scrutiny review of Congressional legal classifications. The reasons are rooted in the political question doctrine and the institutional incapacity of the judiciary. Who is an Indian is a deeply fraught question to which judges have no special institutional capacity to assess. 

Adrea Korthase on the Definition of “Indian Child” in the Era of Assisted Reproductive Technology

Adrea Korthase has published Seminal Choices: The Definition of “Indian Child” in a Time of Assisted Reproductive Technology in the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.