Eighth Circuit Briefing Complete in United States v. Cavanaugh–Challenge to Use of Uncounseled Tribal Court Convictions

Since this is also a challenge to a federal statute, expect a strong cert petition from the US if it loses this case in the Eighth Circuit. If not, then look for a circuit split down the line.

Here are those materials:

US v Cavanaugh Appellant Brief

Cavanaugh Answer Brief

US v Cavanaugh Reply Brief

Earlier posting with lower court materials here.

Federal Court Dismisses Indictment in Indian Country Domestic Violence; Questions Constitutionality of Statute

Here is United States v. Cavanaugh (D. N.D.), where the court dismissed an indictment under the federal domestic violence by a habitual offender in Indian Country statute (18 U.S.C. 117), holding that the use of prior uncounseled tribal court D.V. convictions to establish the “habitual” element of the crime was unconstitutional. See my paper on how state courts should use, if at all, uncounseled tribal court convictions. The court rejected claims that the statute itself was unconstitutional under Morrison and Lopez.

Here are the materials:

Cavanaugh DCT Order on Motion to Dismiss

Cavanaugh Motion to Dismiss

US Opposition to Cavanaugh Motion to Dismiss

Cavanaugh Reply Brief

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