Background materials here.
Here is the opinion.
This appeal comes after a seven year effort by the Department of the Interior (“Department”) to acquire land in trust on behalf of the Wilton Rancheria (“Wilton” or “Tribe”) to build a casino. After the Department finalized the acquisition of a parcel of land in Elk Grove, California, Stand Up for California! (“Stand Up”), Patty Johnson, Joe Teixeira, and Lynn Wheat (collectively “Appellants”) sued the Department. They brought a litany of claims, including claims that the Department (1) impermissibly delegated the authority to make a final agency action to acquire the land to an official who could not wield this authority, (2) was barred from acquiring land in trust on behalf of Wilton’s members, and (3) failed to adhere to its National Environmental Protection Act obligations when it selected the Elk Grove location. Appellants and the Department cross moved for summary judgment, and the District Court granted the Department’s motions on all counts. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the District Court.
Here (the remainder of the briefs are on the Yellen v. Chehalis backgrounds materials page):
Here are the materials in Cherokee Nation v. Dept. of the Interior (D.D.C.):
Prior materials here.
Here are the merits briefs:
Amicus Briefs Supporting Petitioners:
Amicus Briefs Supporting Respondents:
Cert Stage Briefs
D.C. Circuit materials:
District Court materials:
Lake Oahe, created when the United States Army Corps of Engineers flooded thousands of acres of Sioux lands in the Dakotas by constructing the Oahe Dam on the Missouri River, provides several successor tribes of the Great Sioux Nation with water for drinking, industry, and sacred cultural practices. Passing beneath Lake Oahe’s waters, the Dakota Access Pipeline transports crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Under the Mineral Leasing Act, 30 U.S.C. § 185, the pipeline could not traverse the federally owned land at the Oahe crossing site without an easement from the Corps. The question presented here is whether the Corps
violated the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. § 4321, by issuing that easement without preparing an environmental impact statement despite substantial criticisms from the Tribes and, if so, what should be done about that failure. We agree with the district court that the Corps acted unlawfully, and we affirm the court’s order vacating the easement while the Corps prepares an environmental impact statement. But we reverse the court’s order to the extent it directed that the pipeline be shut down and emptied of oil.