Elizabeth Warren’s new climate plan uses wildfire wisdom from tribes

From Grist.org:

A number of Democratic candidates for president have released ambitious environmental plans that make the environmental platforms of yore look like yesterday’s lunch. And many of them include proposals aimed at correcting environmental injustices — protecting vulnerable communities that are often exposed to pollution or are on the frontline of climate change. Carbon tax, shmarbon tax, bring on the equity officers and resiliency projects.

Elizabeth Warren just became the latest candidate to unveil such a plan. It will direct at least $1 trillion to low-income communities on the frontlines of climate change, and contains similar themes to justice-centered proposals put out by the likes of Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker. In at least one respect, however, the plan stands out: It contains a section on how Warren aims to rein in the rampant wildfires burning in the American West.


No Indian Law Grants from Supreme Court’s Long Conference

Here. But we won’t know for another several days whether the Indian law cases have been denied, held for a CVSG or other reason, or otherwise.

For TT’s analysis of the pending petitions, go here.

The October 2013 Term Long Conference: Indian Law Edition

There are a few Indian law petitions scheduled for disposition at the so-called long conference (which is today), where the Supreme Court Justices meet for the first time of the new Term to address cert petitions pending over the break. Thanks to SCOTUSblog for making links to the petitions easy.

SCOTUSblog’s Petitions to Watch lists these petitions:

Nebraska v. Elise M — Another ICWA case, this time involving the transfer of an ICWA case to tribal court. Wonder how, or if, the absolutely horrifying aftermath of the Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl case will affect the decision on whether to review this matter.

Ring v. United States — not really an Indian law petition but does involve the challenge to the conviction of a former associate of Jack Abramoff.

Other petitions:

James L. v. Devin H. — a pro se ICWA petition. No chance for a grant here. Respondents waived the right to file an objection.

Matheson v. Washington Dept. of Revenue — No chance for a grant here, either. Part of a long-standing dispute between Indian smokeshop retailers and the state and the tribe. Respondents waived the right to file an objection.

Native Village of Eyak v. Pritzker — troubling case, with the CA9 apparently applying the wrong standard, or applying it it incorrectly. Two factors (three?) make the petition all but doomed — it’s simple error correction, which the Court shys away from, and the United States is opposing the petition. The third of course being tribal petitions are almost never granted (less than 1 percent).

Onondaga Nation v. New York — MSU’s ILPC participated in an amicus brief supportive of the Onondaga Nation at the CA2. The SCT has already denied similar petitions in land claims involving the Cayuga and Oneida Indian Nations. By the time the Onondaga land claims went to the CA2, Haudenosaunee land claims were being summarily dismissed as a matter of law. In spite of a whole class of claims being dismissed without any attention to the arguments about whether the state’s defenses were sufficient to justify dismissal, it seems pretty clear the Court will deny this one as well. If anything, however, the Court should be concerned that an American court has held that a class of claims that meets two criteria — (1) the plaintiffs are Indian tribes and (2) the claims are “disruptive” — are being summarily dismissed on their face. Fingers crossed for a summary reversal and remand….

Tonasket v. Sargent — Very little chance of a grant, as both petitioner and respondent are tribal. An intra-tribal dispute, rarely heard before the Supreme Court. However, there is an immunity issue, and the Court seems interested in those cases. Small, tiny possibility of a CVSG.

AALS Indian Law-Related Programs (and Newsletter)

Thanks to Ezra Rosser for completing a newsletter for the AALS Indian Law Section: Indian Law Newsletter Jan 2013

The final agenda is here. The Indian-law related programs are all scheduled for Sunday.

10:30 – 12:15 AM
[6250] Section on Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples
Cambridge, Second Floor, Hilton New Orleans Riverside
Indian Gaming and the Future of Tribal Sovereignty
Speakers: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Michigan State University College of Law
Venus McGhee Prince, Attorney General, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Atmore, AL
Alexander T. Skibine, University of Utah, S. J. Quinney College of Law
George Skibine, Counsel, SNR Denton, Washington, DC
Indian gaming, which came to the forefront of American Indian affairs in the 1980s and 1990s, is now a $27 billion a year business. Indian gaming dramatically restored the relative fortunes of some of the poorest tribes, and helped tribes regain control over their lands and their lives. However, with increased competition, Indian gaming revenues have leveled off and projections for the future of Indian gaming widely vary. How will Indian nations respond? Our panel includes leading legal scholars and practitioners in the Indian gaming field.
Business Meeting at Program Conclusion.

2:00 – 3:45 PM
[6425] Crosscutting Program: (A program selected after a competitive process by the AALS Committee on Special Programs for the Annual Meeting)
Grand Ballroom D, First Floor, Hilton New Orleans Riverside
Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples: The Intersection of Environmental Law, Natural Resources Development, Water Law, Energy Law, International Law, and Indigenous Law
(Papers to be published in the Tulane Environmental Law Journal)
Moderator and Speaker: Elizabeth Kronk, University of Kansas School of Law
Speakers: Randall S. Abate, Florida A&M University College of Law
Sara Bronin, University of Connecticut School of Law
Sarah A. Krakoff, University of Colorado School of Law
Judith V. Royster, The University of Tulsa College of Law
Previous AALS panels related to climate change have addressed the increasing importance of including a discussion of climate change in any law school curriculum. The purpose of the panel is to generally discuss the importance of including indigenous people in any discussion related to climate change. Particularly important is the recognition that legal “answers” to climate change may be different when indigenous people are involved. The panel will then focus on how climate change and its impact on indigenous people may be discussed in several different doctrinal areas. Specifically, each presenter will discuss the importance of this subject matter to his or her doctrinal area and include a discussion of how the topic may specifically be incorporated into lesson plans. The proposed topic is innovative in that program attendees will walk away with not only an understanding of why the topic is important but with actual lesson plans and proposed materials to include in their

4:00 – 5:45 PM
[6480] Section on Law and Anthropology
Cambridge, Second Floor, Hilton New Orleans Riverside
Human Rights, Culture, and Indigenous Development
Moderator: Kathryn Fort, Michigan State University College of Law
Speakers: Kirsten Carlson, Wayne State University Law School
Nicole B. Friederichs, Suffolk University Law School
Mark Goodale, Associate Professor, George Mason Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Arlington, VA
Kirsty Gover, J.S.D., Programme Director, Comparative Tribal Constitutionalism Research Programme, Melbourne Law School, Carlton, Australia
The theme of this panel will be the exploration of several questions related to indigenous development, such as the following:
1.) How can human rights be used to develop a political and cultural environment in which indigenous peoples can achieve self-determination?
2.) What obstacles must be confronted as indigenous peoples use human rights law to assert their rights to resources, culture and self-governance?
3.) What strategies exist to develop the practice of intercultural education, exchange, respect and diplomacy in the field of human rights?
4.) What is the relationship between international human rights norms and processes and indigenous culture and governance?


Copper and Nickel Mining Proposal in the UP

Once again, mining companies are promising wealth and prosperity (along with no pollution) to the residents of the UP, this time proposing to dig a mine under Big Bay.

From the Detroit Free Press: “The proposed Kennecott Eagle mine would be dug directly beneath the shimmering Salmon Trout River, home to the rare coaster brook trout, and its tunnel would be blasted below Eagle Rock, considered sacred by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.”