HuffPo. [with link to Trump’s bigoted testimony against the tribe in 1993]
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe of Massachusetts is currently involved in federal litigation against the U.S. Department of Interior, challenging its decision that the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 did not bring it under federal jurisdiction.
See the filings below:
Here are the materials, so far, in Littlefield et. al. v. U.S. Department of Interior (D. Mass.):
Plaintiffs’ Fifth Cause of Action seeks a declaration that the IRA, enacted over eighty years ago, is unconstitutional. Plaintiffs specifically allege that the IRA’s provision authorizing the Secretary to acquire land in trust on behalf of federally-recognized Indian tribes somehow reflects an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority. This legal question, however, has long been resolved against Plaintiffs by all courts to consider it, including the First Circuit in a decision binding on this Court. Federal courts have held, consistently and repeatedly, that the Secretary’s authority to acquire land in trust under the IRA does not violate the United States Constitution because there are sufficient intelligible principles provided in the statute and its legislative history to guide the Secretary’s discretion whether to acquire land in trust on behalf of a tribe. Moreover, it has been over 85 years since the Supreme Court invalidated any statute on the grounds of excessive delegation of legislative authority. The Supreme Court in fact has only found two statues to be a violation of the non-delegation doctrine, neither of which are comparable to the statute at issue here. Accordingly, the Court must dismiss Plaintiffs’ Fifth Cause of Action.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today issued a decision approving a request by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe to acquire 170 acres of land into trust in the town of Mashpee, Mass., for tribal governmental, cultural and conservation purposes, and 151 acres in trust in the City of Taunton, Mass., for the purpose of constructing and operating a gaming facility and resort. The lands in both Mashpee and Taunton will become the tribe’s first lands held in trust.
Here are the materials in Ramos v. Bureau of Indian Affairs (D. Mass.):
The Plaintiffs, enrolled members of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe (“Tribe”), have sued the Defendants, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”); Michael Black, Director of the BIA; Mike Smith, Deputy Director; Franklin Keel, Regional Director; and Kevin Washburn, Assistant Secretary (collectively, the “Defendants”) seeking an injunction requiring the Defendants to conduct an investigation into the Tribe’s 2009 election and to take action to ensure that the Tribe’s elections are properly conducted. D. 9 at 10. The Defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, failure to state a claim and failure to join a necessary party. D. 10. Because the Court concludes that it does not have subject matter jurisdiction over this matter, the Court ALLOWS the motion to dismiss.
Here are the materials in KG Urban v. Patrick (D. Mass.):
News coverage here.