Seventh Circuit Holds State May Not Tax Alienable Lands of Tribal Members on L.C.O. Reservation

Here is the opinion in Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians v. Evers:

Briefs and lower court materials here.

Seventh Circuit Materials in Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians v. Evers


Tribe Brief

State Brief


Lower court materials here.

Federal Court Vacates Trump-Era Repeal of Obama-Era Navigable Waters Protection Rule

Here are the materials in Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. EPA (D. Ariz.):

1 Complaint

48 Tribes Motion for Summary J

72 EPA Motion to Remand

74 Tribes Response

83 EPA Reply

99 DCT Order

Wisconsin Federal Court Holds Tax Immunities Do Not Apply to Reacquired Reservation Land

Here are the relevant materials in Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians v. Evers (W.D. Wis.):

153 State Motion for Summary J

171 Towns and Assessors Motion for Summary J

172 Tribe Motion for Summary J

213 Tribe Response to 171

215 Tribe Response to 153

223 State Reply in Support of 153

228 Towns and Assessors Reply in Support of 171

232 Tribe Reply in Support of 172

245 DCT Order

Prior post here.

Wisconsin COA Rejects Claims of Taxpayers Who Didn’t Like That Indians Had Tax Immunity and Therefore Didn’t Want To Pay Taxes, Either

Here are the materials in Klein v. Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue (Wis. Ct. App.):


Wisconsin Brief

Klein Brief


Tribes Sue EPA over Clean Water Act Rules

Here is the complaint in Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. EPA (D. Ariz.):

1 Complaint

Here is the complaint in Navajo Nation v. Wheeler (D. N.M.):

1 Complaint

Wisconsin Tribes Sue Wisconsin over Taxation of Indian Lands

Here are the materials in Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians v. Walker (W.D. Wis.):

2018.11.30 – Docket 01 – Complaint

2018.11.30 – Docket 1-1 – Civil Cover Sheet

2018.11.30 – Docket 1-2 – Exhibit Index

2018.11.30 – Docket 1-3 – Exhibit A – Treaty with Chippewa

2018.11.30 – Docket 1-4 – Exhibit B – Sample Red Cliff Patent

The Wisconsin Experiment

Donald Trump’s war on the environment was prototyped by far-right politicians in state government. We can learn from Indigenous communities who fought back in the name of science and democracy — and won.

In the opening months of the Trump administration, we have seen concerted attacks on science, environment, and democracy. Climate change denier Scott Pruitt was put in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency, although he could not name a single regulation he favors. Congress revoked rules against dumping mining waste in streams, and the president began rolling back Obama-era climate actions. The draft federal budget includes deep cuts to the EPA, NOAA, and public lands agencies, slashing more than 50 programs, including environmental justice. 1 If dismantling environmental law is the first step toward what White House strategist Steve Bannon calls “the deconstruction of the administrative state,” 2 that’s because it touches everything Trump holds in contempt: empirical evidence, international cooperation, democratic process, the rights of minorities, the future itself.


Now Published Case out of California on Application of ICWA to Eligible Children

Here. (original unpublished opinion we posted last week). Appellants requested this opinion be published, so the published opinion is here.

We’d like to point out that the fact that mother was a minor and a dependent of the court meant that the state should have been treating MOTHER’S own case as an ICWA case, which does not seem to have happened (and if you’re keeping track, yes, I’ve now used italics, allcaps, AND red ink on this one).

In this case, BOTH the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa AND the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe responded to the Department’s notice. Both Bands stated the children were eligible for enrollment, and Red Cliff asked for more information. Mother was a minor and a runaway from her placement. But instead of sending the information, or following up to assist in getting the children enrolled, or provide active efforts, the Department requested the juvenile court find that ICWA did not apply. Which the juvenile court did. Specifically:

Our record discloses no further action after November 2013, until an interim review report, dated April 22, 2014, stated, “[i]t is respectfully requested that the Court make a finding as to the children’s Indian Child Welfare Act Status.” The report further stated that ICWA “does or may apply” as each child might be an Indian child in the Chippewa tribe and was ICWA “eligible” (capitalization & boldface omitted). SSA proposed the court find “ICWA does not apply,” and the juvenile court’s minute order, dated April 22, 2014, contains the finding, “ICWA does not apply.” In a minute order dated June 19, 2014, the juvenile court again stated: “Court finds ICWA does not apply.”

The Court of Appeals held:

Given the above cited authorities, the juvenile court erred by finding ICWA did not apply. Not only did insufficient evidence support that finding, but also two tribes responded to SSA’s ICWA notice, by stating that the children were eligible to enroll in them. The court was thereafter required to proceed as if the children were Indian children.

Under these circumstances, we must reverse the order terminating parental rights and remand with directions for the juvenile court to order SSA to make active efforts necessary to secure tribal membership for the children. (In re K.M. (2015) 242 Cal.App.4th 450, 458–459.)