Here is the opinion in Cayuga Nation v. Tanner (N.D. N.Y.):
Here are updated pleadings in Cayuga Nation v. Tanner (N.D. N.Y.):
Prior posts here.
Here are more materials in the case captioned Cayuga Nation v. Tanner (N.D. N.Y.):
Apparently, the Halftown faction (the plaintiffs here) is continuing the fight for gaming, while the Unity Council group has been dismissed from the case. We posted materials on this case here.
Now it’s getting tight. We’re down to the last 16.
Category 1 — Indian nations
#1 Alaska Native tribes v. #12 Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin
Alaska Native tribes once again won handily, earning 86 percent of the votes over the Omaha Tribe. The Wisconsin Oneidas continue to surprise, knocking off the Cayugas and their impressive Second Circuit tax victory with two-thirds of the vote.
Interesting matchup here, with two contenders that had a big year facing off against state and local governments.
#7 Gun Lake Tribe v.#3 Bay Mills Indian Community
Enrollment numbers don’t matter! The Gun Lakers earn 61 percent of the vote and take out the Sault Tribe and its vast membership. It can’t be that there’s no internet in the UP, right?
Well, the internet worked for Bay Mills, winning by one vote over LCO and the Wisconsin treaty tribes. Bay Mills makes a living winning by one vote.
So another ‘Nish matchup. Will Gun Lake be able to get past another Upper Peninsula Chippewa community?
Category 2 — Laws, Doctrines, and the Like
#1 Indian Child Welfare Act v. #5 Intra-tribal disputes
In the battle for Indian civil rights, nonvoters prevailed over voters, and ICWA moves on with 57 percent of the vote. Maybe that TT post on South Dakota came a day too late.
Well, intra-tribal disputes took down Indian gaming, with 58 percent of the vote. I hope that won’t be true in real life.
#2 Tribal sovereign immunity v. #3 VAWA
With 72 percent of the vote, it turns out sovereignty does predate knowledge of sovereignty. Cool, I guess.
VAWA and the hopes it encourages for tribal governance in the future (as well as its 67 percent vote tally) easily defeated tribal court exhaustion, which wilted with fatigue near the end.
Now we move on to the Category 2 quarterfinals.
#1 Indian Child Welfare Act v. #9 Indian country voting rights
The litigation and public policy juggernaut that is ICWA defeated federal Indian preemption(the previous generation’s juggernaut) with 64 percent of the vote. Indian country voting rights prevailed over Rule 19 with 62 percent of the vote. Where my Rule 19 peeps?
This one is an old-fashioned clash of civil rights.
#4 Indian gaming v. #5 Intra-tribal disputes
Indian gaming beat out internet gaming, barely, with only 90 percent of the vote. In a battle of bad news, intra-tribal disputes knocked out human trafficking with 2/3 of the vote.
Great match-up here. Can we have one without the other? Well, looking back at the ICRA cases of the 1970s, I’d say we don’t need much to generate intra-tribal disputes, heh heh.
#2 Tribal sovereign immunity v. #7 American Indian education
Sovereign immunity beat out alternative energy with 92 percent of the vote. Did it use a sword or a shield? Education, we all need, won with 63 percent; climate change, we don’t need it, was a no-show.
Which came first, immunity or the knowledge that sovereigns are immune? Bill Wood knows, I bet.
#3 VAWA v. #6 Tribal court exhaustion
VAWA took three-quarters of the vote from criminal sentencing. Can’t sentence without convicting first, right?Tribal court exhaustion won almost as easily, with 72 percent of the vote over the new general welfare legislation. Ironically, tribal court exhaustion is all about adjudicating even without jurisdiction. Now I’m confused.
Now we move to category 2 (sounds like a hurricane) — Doctrines, Laws, and Issues (aka, grabag or miscellaneous). The first four contests there….
# 1 Indian Child Welfare Act
It’s been a big year for ICWA a year after Baby Girl (we miss you so much). The Attorney General announced the Department of Justice’s commitment to the statute, the South Dakota class action filed by the Oglala Sioux Tribe is currently pending after much drama about whether Judge Davis was refusing to disclose evidence, and DOJ intervened as an amicus in an important Alaska case (as well as the South Dakota matter). Alaska will now give full faith and credit to Alaska tribal courts on ICWA matters.
The Virginia SCT issued a split opinion on what parts of state law on best interests are trumped by ICWA here, and the Kentucky Supreme Court reaffirmed its commitment the existing Indian family exception (not good, Kentucky). Montana’s Supreme Court issued a few troubling opinions expressing an infatuation with the Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl decision.
State courts from around the country published opinions on a wide variety of ICWA subjects: tribal court transfer (Nebraska — that was a good one), father’s rights in contested adoption (Alaska), qualified expert witnesses (Arizona, Alaska), active efforts (Nebraska, Montana), termination of parental rights (Texas), placement preferences (California, and again), truancy (Nebraska), application (Oregon, North Dakota), and notice, notice, notice (Kansas COA, California –three times here, North Carolina COA, Michigan COA, California COA again, Nebraska COA, Michigan COA again
Important-ish unpublished opinions involved ineffective assistance of counsel (Michigan), active efforts (Michigan), burden of proof (Michigan), placement preferences (California), customary adoption (California), and … you guessed it … notice (Michigan COA, California COA, another Michigan COA, and yet another)
You might see a lot of Michigan here (here’s another), and that’s thanks to MIFPA.
#16 Federal Indian law preemption
The Chehalis/Great Wolf Lodge matter from 2013 helped bring federal Indian law preemption back from the dead. The State of Washington was still feeling the consequences this year. The real impact may be in the BIA leasing regulations.
# 8 Rule 19
My favorite FRCP. Lots of Rule 19 action again this year, including a close call at the Supreme Court, which denied cert in the Buena Vista matter. Other cases involved Jamul Indian Village, payday lending cases, and Skokomish.
# 9 Indian country voting rights
# 4 Indian gaming
Billions a year for tribal communities. Relentless litigation. Enough said.
# 13 Internet gaming
So far, pretty much nothing for tribal communities.
# 5 Intra-tribal disputes
This is the bad news part of the game.
# 12 Human trafficking
Originally filed by Clint Halftown’s group against the Village of Union Springs to enjoin the village’s effort to regulate Class II bingo; now a challenge to the Halftown group by the Cayuga Nation Unity Council. News coverage here.
Here are the materials:
The IBIA decision on the Cayuga leadership dispute is here.
A state court decision on the leadership dispute is here.