SCOTUS Denies Cert in Yakama v. Yakima County Criminal Jurisdiction Dispute

Here is today’s order list.

Cert stage briefs and links to lower court materials here.

Yakama Nation Cert Petition in Dispute with Yakima County over Criminal Jurisdiction

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

Yakama Nation Cert Petition

Question presented:

The United States reassumed Pub. L. 83-280 criminal jurisdiction over crimes involving Indians within the Yakama Reservation from the State of Washington pursuant to 25 U.S.C. § 1323, on April 19, 2016. Years later, federal officials re-interpreted the scope of that federal reassumption to allow the State of Washington to once again exercise criminal jurisdiction over Indians within the Yakama Reservation any time a non-Indian is involved in the crime.The question presented is:

Can the United States change the scope of its reassumption of Pub. L. 83-280 jurisdiction in Indian Country years after the reassumption became effective under 25 U.S.C. § 1323 without the Yakama Nation’s prior consent required by 25 U.S.C. § 1326?

Lower court materials here.

Update (3/4/21):

Brief in Opposition

Update (3/16/21):

Yakama Reply

Washington SCT Restores Yakama Nation’s Challenge to Yakima County Land Use Decision that would Disturb Cemeteries

Here is the opinion in Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation v. Yakima County:

Opinion

Ninth Circuit Decides Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation v. Yakima County

Here is the opinion. An excerpt:

This case presents the question whether the State of Washington may exercise criminal jurisdiction over members of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation who commit crimes on reservation land. To answer that question, we must interpret a 2014 Washington State Proclamation that retroceded—that is, gave back—“in part,” civil and criminal jurisdiction over the Yakama Nation to the United States, but retained criminal jurisdiction over matters “involving non-Indian defendants and non-Indian victims.” If “and,” as used in that sentence, is conjunctive, then the State retained jurisdiction only over criminal cases in which no party—suspects or victims—is an Indian. If, by contrast, “and” is disjunctive and should be read as “or,” then the State retained jurisdiction if any party is a non-Indian. We conclude, based on the entire context of the Proclamation, that “and” is disjunctive and must be read as “or.” We therefore affirm the district court.

Briefs here. Oral argument video here.