Federal Court Denies Discovery into Tribal Judicial Bias Claims

Here is the order in FMC Corp. v. Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (D. Idaho):

43 DCT Order Denying Discovery

An excerpt:

To allow a litigant to conduct full-blown discovery here, after he failed to conduct discovery in the tribal court litigation, would ignore National Farmers and Iowa Mutual. Those cases directed that all issues be fully presented to the tribal court so that it might cure any problems and give the federal court the benefit of its expertise. If a due process issue like judicial bias is not fully developed through discovery before being presented to the tribal court – and the litigant simply sits on his discovery rights until he gets into federal court – the tribal court never gets a chance to review the discovery, apply its expertise, and cure any unfair judicial bias revealed by the discovery. That is antithetical to the analysis of National Farmers and Iowa Mutual.

Briefs here. The tribal court decision below is here.

South Dakota SCT Finds “No Bias” in Case of Judge Who Referred to Indian Defending as “Go[ing] Native”

Here is the opinion in State v. Good Plume (h/t Legal Profession Blog).

An excerpt:

Defendant, a Native American, argues that he was denied due process in sentencing when the judge voiced a racial stereotype to describe his violent behavior under the influence of alcohol. The judge used the term “go native.” In defendant’s view, the remark was “improper” and “gave the impression of bias and prejudice” entitling him to resentencing before another judge. Although the term was ill chosen, upon examining the judge’s entire remarks, we detect no risk of actual bias based on objective and reasonable perceptions, and thus, we affirm.