Chinook Recognition Suit Remanded to Agency

Here are the materials in Chinook Indian Nation v. Bernhardt (W.D. Wash.), formerly Chinook Indian Nation v. Zinke:

113 DCT Order on Motions for Summary Judgmet

114 Motion for Reconsideration

116 Response

117 Reply

118 DCT Order Granting Motion for Reconsideration

128 Motion for Partial Summary Judgment

129 Response

132 Reply

133 DCT Order

Prior post here.

Federal Court Strikes Ban on Chinook Federal Acknowledgment Petition, Violates APA

Here are the materials in Chinook Indian Nation v. Bernhardt (W.D. Wash.), formerly Chinook Indian Nation v. Zinke:









Prior posts here.

Injunctive Relief Granted in Indigenous Environmental Network v. U.S. Dept. of State [Keystone XL Pipeline]


Previous posts/filings here.

WaPo coverage here.

Plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief is GRANTED. The Court enjoins Federal Defendants and TransCanada from engaging in any activity in furtherance of the construction or operation of Keystone and associated facilities until the Department has completed a supplement to the 2014 SEIS that complies with the requirements of NEPA and the APA.


Tenth Circuit Holds NIGC Indian Lands Opinion Letters Not Final Agency Action

Here is the opinion in State of Kansas v. Zinke.

An excerpt:

The question in this case is whether a legal opinion letter issued by the Acting General Counsel of the National Indian Gaming Commission (“NIGC”) regarding the eligibility of Indian lands for gaming constitutes “final agency action” subject to judicial review. In response to a request from the Quapaw Tribe, the NIGC Acting General Counsel issued a legal opinion letter stating that the Tribe’s Kansas trust land was eligible for gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”). The State of Kansas and the Board of County Commissioners of the County of Cherokee, Kansas, filed suit, arguing that the letter was arbitrary, capricious, and erroneous as a matter of law. The district court concluded that the letter did not constitute reviewable final agency action under IGRA or the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”).

Exercising jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we affirm. IGRA’s text, statutory scheme, legislative history, and attendant regulations demonstrate congressional intent to preclude judicial review of legal opinion letters. Further, the Acting General Counsel’s letter does not constitute final agency action under the APA because it has not determined any rights or obligations or produced legal consequences. In short, the letter merely expresses an advisory, non-binding opinion, without any legal effect on the status quo ante.

Briefs here.

Federal Court Dismisses Klickitat County’s Challenge to Yakama Reservation Land Status, PL280 Retrocession

Here are the materials in Klickitat County v. Department of the Interior (E.D. Wash.):

9 US Motion to Dismiss

10 Response

12 US Reply

14 DCT Order

Nez Perce Files Suit Over Final Decision in Clear Creek Project

Download complaint here.

Link to news coverage here.

D.C. Circuit Briefs in Mackinac Tribe v. Jewell


Tribe Opening Brief

US Answer Brief


Lower court briefs here.

Federal Court Rejects Mackinac Tribe’s Bid for Federal Recognition

Here is the order in Mackinac Tribe v. Jewell (D. D.C.):

19 DCT Order

Briefs are here.

Yakama Nation Sues US Fish & Wildlife Service over Rattlesnake Mountain Bus Tours that Implicate Sacred Sites

Here is the complaint in Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakama Nation v. USFWS (E.D. Wash.):

Yakama v USFWS – wildflower tours

An excerpt:

This action relates to agency decisions and actions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and named officials thereof to conduct guided bus tours for members of the general public on Rattlesnake Mountain within the Hanford Reach National Monument (HRNM). The mountain is considered by the plaintiff to be of great religious and cultural importance, and for that reason the site has been federally designated as a Traditional Cultural Property (TCP) under the NHPA. The defendants concluded in April 2012 that the guided wildflower tours will have no adverse effect on the TCP, and plaintiff seeks judicial review of this finding. In addition, the defendants are seeking judicial review of a final agency action proceeding with scheduled public wildflower tours in 2014 despite a lack of concurrence by both the plaintiff and the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), and subsequent violations of consultation procedures required by the NHPA.

Briefs in Quechan Challenge to Ocotollo Wind Energy Facility in S. California

Here are the briefs in Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation v. Dept. of Interior:

Doc 11_1 Appellant’s Opening Brief 090413. wo Addendum

Doc 15 CRIT Amicus Brief

Federal Appellee Brief

Reply brief TK

Lower court materials here.