Fourth Circuit Briefs in Case Involving Tribal Sovereign Lending of Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake

Here are the briefs in Hengle v. Treppa:

Appellant Brief

Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Consumer Financial Services Regulatory Commission Amicus Brief

NAFOA Amicus Brief

New Mexico Amicus Brief

Lower court materials here.

Fourth Circuit Favors Tribal Immunity in Williams v. Big Picture Loans LLC

Here is the opinion.

Briefs here.

Fourth Circuit Briefs in Williams v. Big Picture Loans


appellant brief

williams appellee brief

center for responsible lending amicus brief

conference of tribal lending commissioners amicus brief

States Brief

ncai amicus brief

Redacted Reply Brief

Lower court materials here.

National Council for Adoption Case Vacated and Remanded

This case was the challenge to the 2015 BIA ICWA Guidelines. The case was dismissed at the district court level, and NCFA appealed the case to the Fourth Circuit. Earlier this week, the appellants motioned to vacate, and today the court granted it. Given the BIA withdrew the 2015 Guidelines and they are no longer in effect, this makes sense.

Motion to Vacate


This does mean the lower court decision is no longer precedent, to the extent we used it as such.

Lumbee Tribal Members Amicus Brief in Challenge to North Carolina’s Voter ID Law

Here is the brief of Pearlein Revels, Louise Mitchell, Eric Locklear, and Anita Hammonds Blanks in Support of Plaintiffs in North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP v. McCory:

Amicus Brief

One of our great friends Jeanette Wolfley is counsel for amici!

Amicus Briefs in Pro-Football v. Blackhorse (4th Cir.)

59 Brief of Amici Curiae Native American Organizations in Support of Appellees

60 Brief of the Navajo Nation as Amicus Curiae in Support of Defendants-Appellees

61 Brief of Amici Curiae Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, National Native American Bar Association, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Native Hawaiian Bar Association, and California Indian Law Association in Support of Defendants-Appellees and Affirmance

Link to previous postings in the trademark case here.

Noah Feldman on the Impact of Western Sky-Inspired Litigation on Tribal Sovereignty

Noah Feldman has posted “Tribes Don’t Get a Pass on Federal Law” on Bloomberg. HT How Appealing.

Despite the title (oh those editors!), tribal sovereignty isn’t mentioned until the last two paragraphs:

[Judge] Wilkinson tried to duck the deepest question in the case: Would it be all right to take federal law out of the picture altogether if Indian law applied instead? In this case, in practice, the recourse to tribal law would’ve been empty. But what if the Cheyenne River Sioux did have a robust arbitration mechanism in place or rules to guide an arbitration?

Under the decision, that shouldn’t matter: The court held that any agreement that rejects the application of federal law can’t be enforced. At the margin, this decision may actually reduce Indian tribes’ sovereignty. Whether it will help protect consumers from predatory lenders will depend on how other courts cite it.

These are good points. They could be tempered with a couple minor quibbles, mostly that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, as I understand it, had nothing to do with Western Sky’s dispute resolution strategies. Perhaps anything the court said about that’s tribes sovereignty has to be dicta, and my reading of the opinion didn’t see anything like that (unlike the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Jackson).

This will be good fodder for consideration at the ASU e-Commerce meeting later this week….


Law Review Article on Principal Briefs in Supreme Court Cases (Inc. Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl)


Given the decision of NCFA to appeal the recent win in the Eastern District of Virginia to the Fourth Circuit this may be useful (if frustrating) reading.

As always, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl materials, including briefs, law review articles, and cases, are here.