Federal Court Dismisses Challenge to Indian Preference in Employment at Office of Special Trustee

Here are the materials in Hester v. Salazar (D. Utah):

3 Hester Complaint

7 MJ R&R

8 Hester Objection

9 DCT Order Adopting R&R

An excerpt from the R&R:

Because the Supreme Court has ruled in Mancari that Indian preference “does not constitute ‘racial discrimination,’ “ Mancari, 471 U.S. at 553, Mr. Hester’s claims that he was subjected to racial discrimination and that his civil rights have been violated are not valid. Therefore, because Mr. Hester has not stated a claim upon which relief can be granted, and it would be futile to amend his complaint, his complaint should be dismissed under the authority of 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B)(ii). Based on that conclusion, Mr. Hester’s motion to appoint counsel and motion for service of process should be deemed moot.

News Coverage of BIA Opinion Letter re: Seneca Indian Preference in Employment

From the Buffalo News via Pechanga:

LEWISTON — It’s perfectly legal for the Seneca Nation of Indians to give preferential treatment to Senecas and other Native Americans in filling jobs at the Hickory Stick Golf Course, a federal official has written.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act contains an exception to nondiscrimination laws, allowing Indian hiring preferences for “any business or enterprise on or near an Indian reservation,” according to Kevin Bearquiver, deputy director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

He wrote the opinion in response to a request from the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency.

A 1977 executive order defined “near” as anyplace within a reasonable daily commute from a reservation.

The IDA board voted Aug. 13 to ask its attorney to seek an opinion on whether the Seneca Nation’s employment preference ordinance applies to the golf course, which is owned by the Seneca Gaming Corp., but is not built on Seneca-owned land. The IDA has an interest in the issue because it granted a property tax break to the Lewiston golf course in 2007.

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Federal Court Dismisses Employment Discrimination Complaint against Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas

Here is the opinion in Nanomantube v. Kickapoo Tribe (D. Kan.) — Nanomantube v Kickapoo DCT Order

And the tribe’s motion to dismiss — Kickapoo Motion to Dismiss

From the Topeka Capital-Journal:

WICHITA – The Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas has won its argument that it is entitled to sovereign immunity as a federally recognized Indian tribe.

U.S. District Judge Richard Rogers cited the tribal immunity Thursday when he tossed out a discrimination lawsuit filed by the former acting casino manager.

Robert Nanomantube claimed in his suit that as a tribal descendant he was entitled to “Indian preference” under the tribe’s employment policies. The job he wanted went to a non-Indian.

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Indian Preference in Employment Case in Kansas

The Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas has filed a motion to dismiss a claim by a former tribal employee that he was entitled to Indian preference before being fired as a casino manager (news article via Pechanga here). The case is Namomantube v. Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas.

Kickapoo Motion to Dismiss

Post-Judgment Motion in Indian Preference Case — Indian Educators Federation v. Kempthorne

This case, decided in April and reported here (see opinion and materials), is in the D.C. district court. Now the question is whether the plaintiffs, who prevailed in April, are entitled to a preliminary injunction demanding the Secretary comply with the order the way the plaintiffs want, or whether the Secretary can comply in his or her own manner. The court denied the union’s motion.