Here are the category finals in all four categories:
Category 1 — Indian nations
#1 Alaska Native tribes v. #3 Bay Mills Indian Community
Alaska Native tribes knock off the Wisconsin Oneidas, who made a very good showing against the northwest leviathan, but Alaska wins 68 percent. And, yes, there is internet in the UP, or there are just plenty of downstaters (hearing me Port Huron?) banking on the BMIC casino? The Gun Lakers only garner 41 percent of the vote.
So the two big tribal winners of the year face off.
Category 2 — Laws, Doctrines, and other stuff
#1 ICWA v. #2 Tribal sovereign immunity
The Indian Child Welfare Act motors on with 64 percent of the vote over intra-tribal disputes. I think we’re all in denial. Too bad, too, cuz tribal sovereign immunity, one of the reasons we have such compelling intra-tribal disputes, also moved on, defeating VAWA narrowly with 54 percent of the vote.
Oil and water face off. We at Turtle Talk know for a fact that ICWA and tribal immunity cases absolutely dominate the federal and state cases we see almost every day here. You can make your living on these two, so long as you’re willing to work for next-to-nothing as an ICWA attorney and so long as you don’t try to make a living suing Indian tribes.
Category 3 — People and Parties
#1 Hon. Diane Humetewa v. #2 Justice Sotomoyor
Sarah Deer gave her a serious run for her money, but fell by a mere two percentage points in the most highly contested (the most votes that is) pairing of the third round. Judge Hemetewa prevails again but only to face the most recognizable and fabulous Supreme Court Justice in history. Yes, I said that.
Category 4 — Other things
#1 1491s v. #10 Tribal In-House Counsel Association
The 1491s sneak past the Cohen Handbookies with 54 percent of the vote. Did I call it or what? All four top seeds are in the final eight. They appear to be in serious trouble though as the Tribal In-House Counsel Association is gaining unbelievable momentum, absolutely crushing the Carcieri beneficiaries with 78 percent of the vote. Of course, that might merely be a question of popularity because who likes those guys anyway? TICA’s going to have to rely more on beneficence to defeat the staggering monolith that is the 1491s.