Response briefs filed in State of Alaska v. Akiachak Native Community;
Previous coverage here.
Here are the updated materials in Akiachak Native Community v. Jewell (D.D.C.):
For the foregoing reasons, the Court will GRANT IN PART Alaska’s motion for an injunction by enjoining the Secretary from taking any land into trust in Alaska, pending the outcome of the appeal. The Court’s ruling does not apply to the pre-existing exception for the Metlakatla Indian Community of the Annette Island Reserve or its members. 25 C.F.R. § 151.1; see also 79 Fed.Reg. 24,648, 24,649.
Proposed Rule here.
SUMMARY: This proposed rule would delete a provision in the Department of the Interior’s land-into-trust regulations that excludes from the scope of the regulations, with one exception, land acquisitions in trust in the State of Alaska.
Related case here.
Press release requesting comments here.
Here are the materials:
Here are the materials in Akiachak Native Community v. Salazar (D. D.C.):
Four tribes of Alaska Natives and one individual Native brought this suit to challenge the Secretary of the Interior’s decision to leave in place a regulation that treats Alaska Natives differently from other native peoples. The challenged regulation governs the taking of land into trust under Section 5of the Indian Reorganization Act, 25 U.S.C. § 465; it provides that, with one exception, the regulatory procedures “do not cover the acquisition of land in trust status in the State of Alaska.” 25 C.F.R. § 151.1. The plaintiffs argue that this exclusion of Alaska Natives-and only Alaska Natives-from the land-into-trust application process is void under 25 U.S.C. § 476(g), which nullifies regulations that discriminate among Indian tribes. The State of Alaska has intervened to argue that the differential treatment is required by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (“ANCSA” or the “Claims Settlement Act”), which (on the State’s account) deprived the Secretary of the statutory authority to take most Alaska land into trust.
The Secretary disagrees, but nonetheless seeks to justify the regulation by reference to ANCSA. For the reasons explained below, the court concludes  that the Secretary retains his statutory authority to take land into trust on behalf of all Alaska Natives, and that his decision to maintain the exclusion of most Natives from the land-into-trust regulation violates 25 U.S.C. § 476(g), which provides that contrary regulations “shall have no force or effect.” The court therefore grants summary judgment to the plaintiffs, and orders additional briefing on the question of the proper remedy.