Who Won 2014? Fourth Round — The Final Eight

Here are the category finals in all four categories:

Category 1 — Indian nations

#1 Alaska Native tribes v. #3 Bay Mills Indian Community

Alaska Native tribes knock off the Wisconsin Oneidas, who made a very good showing against the northwest leviathan, but Alaska wins 68 percent. And, yes, there is internet in the UP, or there are just plenty of downstaters (hearing me Port Huron?) banking on the BMIC casino? The Gun Lakers only garner 41 percent of the vote.

So the two big tribal winners of the year face off.

Category 2 — Laws, Doctrines, and other stuff

#1 ICWA v. #2 Tribal sovereign immunity

The Indian Child Welfare Act motors on with 64 percent of the vote over intra-tribal disputes. I think we’re all in denial. Too bad, too, cuz tribal sovereign immunity, one of the reasons we have such compelling intra-tribal disputes, also moved on, defeating VAWA narrowly with 54 percent of the vote.

Oil and water face off. We at Turtle Talk know for a fact that ICWA and tribal immunity cases absolutely dominate the federal and state cases we see almost every day here. You can make your living on these two, so long as you’re willing to work for next-to-nothing as an ICWA attorney and so long as you don’t try to make a living suing Indian tribes.

Category 3 — People and Parties

#1 Hon. Diane Humetewa v. #2 Justice Sotomoyor

Sarah Deer gave her a serious run for her money, but fell by a mere two percentage points in the most highly contested (the most votes that is) pairing of the third round. Judge Hemetewa prevails again but only to face the most recognizable and fabulous Supreme Court Justice in history. Yes, I said that.

Category 4 — Other things

#1 1491s v. #10 Tribal In-House Counsel Association

The 1491s sneak past the Cohen Handbookies with 54 percent of the vote. Did I call it or what? All four top seeds are in the final eight. They appear to be in serious trouble though as the Tribal In-House Counsel Association is gaining unbelievable momentum, absolutely crushing the Carcieri beneficiaries with 78 percent of the vote. Of course, that might merely be a question of popularity because who likes those guys anyway? TICA’s going to have to rely more on beneficence to defeat the staggering monolith that is the 1491s.



Who Won American Indian Law and Policy 2014? Third Round Bracket 2 of 2

Now for the other half of the bracket.

Category 3 — People and Parties

Notably, this is an all-woman category semifinal. Damn right.

#1 Hon. Diane Humetewa v. #4 Sarah Deer

Judge Humetewa knocks off Bill Wood with 74 percent of the vote. Bill.I.Am’s Backers made it closer than I predicted. Sarah Deer keeps rolling, taking down the assistant secretary with 62 percent of the vote.

#2 Justice Sonia Sotomayor v. #11 Structuring Sovereignty

Justice Sotomayor wins the battle of New York City with 69 percent of the vote. The Structuring Sovereignty team keeps rolling with 58 percent of the vote.

Category 4 — Other

#1 1491s v. #5 Cohen Handbook

It appears the number of people who reject NFL racism outnumbers the Cobell class pool; I’d say we have a victory of humor over angst. And it wasn’t close, as the 1491s win 61 percent of the vote.

In the other matchup, Cohen outran Ma’iingan, which is saying something.

This semifinal reminds me of the theme song to Pinky and the Brain — one is a genius, the other’s insane. But which is which?

#10 Tribal In-House Counsel Assn. v. #6 Carcieri Challengers

In a massive upset, upstart TICA knocks of the Supreme Court project with 65 percent of the vote. No, I’m serious.

This sets up a huge round-of-16 matchup between TICA and the Carcieri beneficiaries In other words, will principle defeat market share?




Who Won American Indian Law and Policy, 2014, Second Round, Bracket 4 of 4

Now we move onto the Category 4 hurricane, groups.

#1 1491s v. #9 Cobell settlement beneficiaries

The 1491s love Jim Thorpe (I think) but not his captor, winning with 93 percent of the vote. Potheads didn’t get out of bed yesterday, so the Cobell settlement beneficiaries had an easy time garnering 73 percent of the vote.

I guess I forget, being in Michigan, that Cobell’s billions are pretty influential. This will be an interesting match-up. The 1491s better hope the beneficiaries aren’t out there buying votes.

#4 Gray wolves v. #5 Cohen Handbook

Ma’iingan feasted on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, with 63 percent of the vote. The entire state of New Mexico was no match for the Cohen Handbook leviathan, barely netting 29 percent of the vote.

Are the law profs hunters? Or will the wolves outthink them? Whozit gonna be?

#2 Tribal Supreme Court v.#10 Tribal In-House Counsel Association

TLPI nearly pulls off the largest upset of the tournament by defeating the Supreme Court Project but fades late, garnering only 44 percent of the vote. The young upstart TICA wins over NABA by one vote!

#3 Law Reviews on Adoptive Couple v.#6 Carcieri challengers

Well, sheer numbers mean something, plus an extra year to deliberate. Adoptive Couple defeats Bay Mills with 62 percent of the vote. Controversy reigns in the Carcieri v. payday lending crowd, but Carcieri must scare (or excite) voters more, winning with 59 percent of the vote.



Who Won Indian Law and Policy 2014? First Round Bracket — 7 of 8

Now we move to Category 4, which is another miscellaneous category of sorts. Thanks for bearing with me through this.

Category 4 — Groups

# 1 1491s

Funny people. Appeared on The Daily Show and had a fine time with some Redskins fans. Went to football game, too.

Also, appeared at Michigan State! Had lunch.


# 16 Borough of Jim Thorpe

Won NAGPRA case in the Third Circuit. Don’t be fooled. They’re not NAGPRA fans.

# 8 Indian country pot growers

Don’t get too excited. They haven’t won anything yet.


# 9 Cobell settlement beneficiaries

Feds are looking for you. Seriously, this time they want to give you money.

# 4 Gray wolves

Brother ma’iingan won one this year. I called it. Not really.


# 13 Dept. of Justice

Wait, we already covered this under Eric Holder.

The real # 13 Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Always doing stuff.

# 5 Cohen Handbook

Going strong after all these years, maybe more than ever. Cited 27 times by federal and state courts in 2014. Holy moly!


# 12 New Mexico state government

Won several important Indian law cases this year: got the Part 291 procedures invalidated, against Grand River Enterprises, got a criminal conviction affirmed where the non-Indian had originally been arrested by tribal, bunch of other stuff probably.