SCOTUS Holds Brackeen and Oklahoma’s McGirt Petitions, Other Petitions Denied

Today’s order list.

The petitions in Haggerty, Stand Up, GRE Six Nations, and Tanner were all denied (see prior post).

The court also denied three McGirt-related petitions from Oklahoma prisoners:

Parish Petition/Amicus/BIO/Reply

Davis Petition

Compelleebee Petition

We’ll just keep waiting.

Big Day for Indian Law at the January 7 SCOTUS Conference [a mini-long conference???]

Several Indian law cert petitions are set for discussion today at the Supreme Court’s conference (which is their fancy way of saying they’re meeting as a group of 9 to discuss pending cases; where they decide whether or not to accept a cert petition). Here’s a list:

The Brackeen/ICWA petitions

Grand River Six Nations Enterprises Ltd. v. Boughton

Haggerty v. United States

Several of the McGirt-related petitions

Yet another Stand Up petition

Tanner v. Cayuga

The fun keeps going next week:

Klickitat County v. Yakama Nation Cert Petition

And the week after that:

Dakota Access v. Standing Rock

Tribal Amicus Brief Supporting Cert Petition in LTBB v. Whitmer


Petition here.

Sklallam Tribes’ Cert Petition over Lummi Nation U&A [U.S. v. Washington subproceeding 11-02]

Here is the petition in Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe v. Lummi Nation:

Question presented:

The question presented is whether the Ninth Circuit—in conflict with decisions of this Court and other courts—properly abrogated the long-settled and original understanding of a central treaty term, without any legal or factual basis for doing so, and while redefining the boundary of a major body of water to accommodate its novel treaty interpretation.

Lower court materials here.

Klickitat County v. Yakama Nation Cert Petition

Here is the petition in Klickitat County v. Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation:

Questions presented:

1. Whether, or in what circumstances, a court may override an Act of Congress adopting a boundary for an Indian reservation, and set its own boundary.

2. Whether the Ninth Circuit erred by holding-in conflict with the decisions of this Court, including a decision involving the very boundary at issue-that the Reservation encompasses the area at issue.

Lower court materials here.

Penobscot Nation + US Cert Petitions against Maine in Penobscot River Dispute

Here is the petition in Penobscot Nation v. Frey:

Here is the petition in United States v. Frey:

Question presented (from the Penobscot petition):

Whether the Maine Indian Settlement Acts— consistent with this Court’s precedents on statutory interpretation and the Indian canons of construction— codify the historical understanding of the Penobscot Nation, the United States, and the State that the Penobscot Reservation encompasses the Main Stem of the Penobscot River.

Lower court materials here.


NCAI Amicus Brief

Members of Congress Amicus Brief

Maine State-Tribal Commission Amicus Brief

LTBB v. Whitmer Cert Petition


Cert Petition

Question presented:

Whether the 1855 Treaty of Detroit established a federal reservation for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians?

Lower court materials here.

Tanner v. Cayuga Nation Cert Petition



Questions presented:

1. In view of Sherrill, whether New York tribes exercise “concurrent” jurisdiction over fee lands within the plenary taxing and regulatory authority of the state and local governments, thereby enabling those tribes to engage in gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), and cause the same or greater disruptions of settled expectations condemned by this Court in Sherrill.

2. Whether fee lands under plenary state and local taxation and regulation (per Sherrill) constitute “Indian lands” under IGRA because those lands are located within the Cayugas’ historic reservation.

3. Whether the Cayuga Nation’s ancient reservation was disestablished. 

Lower court materials here.

Cert Petition Filed in Challenge to Wilton Rancheria Lands Case

Here is the petition in Stand Up for California! v. Dept. of the Interior:

SUFC! Petition

Question presented:

Whether the Secretary can acquire land in trust on behalf of Indians whose federal supervision was terminated by Congress.

Lower court materials here.