Who Won 2014? Fourth Round — The Final Eight

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.



Who Won American Indian Law and Policy 2014? Third Round Bracket 2 of 2

Now for the other half of the bracket.

Category 3 — People and Parties

Notably, this is an all-woman category semifinal. Damn right.

#1 Hon. Diane Humetewa v. #4 Sarah Deer

Judge Humetewa knocks off Bill Wood with 74 percent of the vote. Bill.I.Am’s Backers made it closer than I predicted. Sarah Deer keeps rolling, taking down the assistant secretary with 62 percent of the vote.

#2 Justice Sonia Sotomayor v. #11 Structuring Sovereignty

Justice Sotomayor wins the battle of New York City with 69 percent of the vote. The Structuring Sovereignty team keeps rolling with 58 percent of the vote.

Category 4 — Other

#1 1491s v. #5 Cohen Handbook

It appears the number of people who reject NFL racism outnumbers the Cobell class pool; I’d say we have a victory of humor over angst. And it wasn’t close, as the 1491s win 61 percent of the vote.

In the other matchup, Cohen outran Ma’iingan, which is saying something.

This semifinal reminds me of the theme song to Pinky and the Brain — one is a genius, the other’s insane. But which is which?

#10 Tribal In-House Counsel Assn. v. #6 Carcieri Challengers

In a massive upset, upstart TICA knocks of the Supreme Court project with 65 percent of the vote. No, I’m serious.

This sets up a huge round-of-16 matchup between TICA and the Carcieri beneficiaries In other words, will principle defeat market share?




Who Won American Indian Law and Policy, 2014, Second Round, Bracket 3 of 4

Now we move on to the quarterfinals of Category 3, People and Parties.

#1 Hon. Diane Humetewa v. #8 Bill Wood

Hun, Judge Humetewa only won 89 percent of votes. Has she already presided over the criminal cases of 11 percent of TT readers and their friends and families? 🙂

I think Professor Wood’s in for a rough quarterfinal. Sorry brother. But you beat Dollar General, getting nearly two-thirds of the vote!

#4 Sarah Deer v. #5 Hon. Kevin Washburn

In a battle of two geniuses, Prof. Deer prevails with 70 percent of the vote. In the battle of two feds, the assistant secretary prevails with 71 percent. This next round is going to be a clash of titans.

#2 Justice Sonia Sotomayor v. #10 Frank Pommersheim

We believe that, based on the fact that Justice Sotomayor only won 90 percent of the vote, our alum J.S. voted at least five times. 🙂

Justice Sotomayor will face Frank Pommersheim, who narrowly defeated Judge Canby, who did not, as far as I know, get much of the haiku vote, with 55 percent of the vote.

This sets up my favorite match-up — a tale of two New Yorkers! Erin Lane, where are you?

#3 Hon. Keith Harper v. #11 Structuring Sovereignty

Ambassador Harper won easily over Chris Deschene, with 69 percent of the vote. The win of the authors of Structuring Sovereignty by a 71 percent to 29 percent vote was somewhat surprising (to me anyway). I guess it’s too late to Bear Down, Arizona.

Who Won Indian Law and Policy 2014? First Round Bracket — 5 of 8

In case you weren’t around yesterday, we’ve been playing a little game based on a game Grantland has been playing for a few years — Who Won 2014? Yesterday’s four posts (here, here, here, and here) ask you to vote in the first two categories, Indian nations and Doctrines, Laws, and Issues. Today, we move on to the next two categories.

Category 3 — People and Parties

#1 Hon. Diane Humetewa

The first American Indian woman to serve as a federal judge. ‘Nuff said.


# 16 Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee

The beneficiary of a Ninth Circuit NAGPRA decision dismissing a brought by disgruntled academics against the University of California.

# 8 Bill Wood

Bill’s a good friend with a great sense of humor, so he might be amused. But who else’s first law review article got quoted by the Supreme Court this year?


# 9 Dollar General Corp.

Yes, the people fighting the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. They lost over a downright angry dissent in the Fifth Circuit, but hired Tom Goldstein of  SCOTUSBlog fame and have attracted the Supreme Court’s attention with a CVSG. Now their next hurdle is the OSG. Ah the privilege of opposing tribal interests. Think the tribe would have had the same luck?

# 4 Sarah Deer

Prof. Deer won a coveted MacArthur Foundation Genius grant. If you want to see the lengths people will go to to win one of these (fictionalized), check out Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Synecdoche, New York.

Plus she co-wrote one of the most interesting, compelling, and provocative law review articles of recent times, “Protecting Native Mothers and Their Children: A Feminist Lawyering Approach.” I bet it made ever second year law student articles editor that saw it in the slush pile squirm and quickly turn to another article on Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th-century Bulgaria. Kudos and much appreciation.


# 13 Neal Katyal

Ah, people could be ranked higher, but it’s a competitive game. Prof. Katyal was the victorious orator in the Bay Mills case, and may make another splash with a cert petition he filed for the Seminole Tribe. We’ll know Friday.

# 5 Hon. Kevin Washburn

Ok, let’s see how many feds I can make uncomfortable. How can the Assistant Secretary be seeded so low? It’s like Navajo — there’s an enormous amount of volume, but there’s a lot of bad with the good. This “person and party”, more so than any of the others on this list, is the job more than the person. But this is a great guy, famously self-effacing, humorous (it helps to steal Sam Deloria’s jokes once in a while), kind, generous with his time (UCLA, MSU, Colorado, Fed Bar, Harvard), and individually personable.

But he’s the assistant secretary and a fair percentage of the people reading this blog envision him as sporting devil horns like Tim Curry in Legend.


# 12 Hon. Eric Holder

Fed v. Fed. Another person enveloped by the position. Announced the new ICWA initiative. But also resigned (pending the Senate’s confirmation of his successor).

His agency, the Department of Justice, had an interesting year, opining about marijuana in Indian country, for example.