- Whether, under NEPA, an agency that carefully considers all criticisms of its environmental analysis must also “resolve” those criticisms to the court’s satisfaction to justify a finding of no significant impact; and
- Whether procedural error under NEPA per se warrants remand with vacatur.
Lower court materials here.
There is a lot going on in this case, including issues involving a GAL (best interests attorney) advocating for best interests rather than the child’s state interests and opposing transfer to tribal court, transfer to tribal court issues, and termination of parental rights issues. The Tribe made a solid run at trying to get the GAL removed for a stated interests attorney. South Dakota law is pretty clear that the appointed attorney for a child should be a BI attorney, and the Court stated:
We adopt this approach as it relates to a child’s attorney appointed in abuse and neglect proceedings pursuant to SDCL 26-8A-18. The child’s attorney appointed pursuant to the statute is required to advocate for the child’s best interest. However, when the attorney’s determination of what constitutes the child’s best interest conflicts with the child’s expressed wishes, the ethical obligations of the attorney require consultation with the child to insure that the child’s objectives are presented to the court, along with the basis for the attorney’s determination of the child’s best interest. This approach “gives priority to the paramount goal of discerning the child’s best interest while enabling the lawyer to advocate an opposing viewpoint without fear of ethical violation.” J.P.B., 419 N.W.2d at 392.
Ultimately the child did testify (which, ooof, if you read the opinion), and the Court affirmed the termination and the denial of transfer.
Here are the materials in Temple v. Langdeau (D.S.D.):
3 Motion for TRO
13 DCT Order
Here are the new materials in Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. United States Army Corps of Engineers (D.D.C.):
569 Tribe Motion
573 Army Corps Opposition
586 Tribe Reply
607 DCT Order
Prior post here.
Here is the pleading from Michelin Retirement Plan v. Dilworth Paxon LLP (D.S.C.):
608 WLCC Rule 60 Motion
608-1 Lone Hill Declaration
608-15 Victim Impact Statement
608-16 Raynes Declaration
An excerpt from the motion:
In or about the fall of 2017, a man named Quattlebaum contacted WLCC and Wakpamni Lake Community President Lone Hill on three separate occasions. (Lone Hill Decl. ¶ 27; see also Raynes Decl. ¶ 16.) President Lone Hill understood that Mr. Quattlebaum was Judge Quattlebaum, then a United States District Judge for this Court.1 (Lone Hill Decl. ¶ 27; see also Raynes Decl. ¶ 16.) Mr. Quattlebaum asked President Lone Hill about the financial state of WLCC and Wakpamni Lake Community and about the subject matter of the lawsuit. (Lone Hill Decl. ¶ 27.) Based on the information received, Mr. Quattlebaum deduced that WLCC and the Wakpamni Lake Community were destitute. (Id.) President Lone Hill understood from her conversations with Mr. Quattlebaum that he understood and appreciated their innocent and impoverished position. President Lone Hill further understood and believed that Mr. Quattlebaum—as a judge of this Court—indicated to her that no further action was needed with respect to this case.
Prior post in this case here.
Here is the opinion in Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. United States Army Corps of Engineers.
Lake Oahe, created when the United States Army Corps of Engineers flooded thousands of acres of Sioux lands in the Dakotas by constructing the Oahe Dam on the Missouri River, provides several successor tribes of the Great Sioux Nation with water for drinking, industry, and sacred cultural practices. Passing beneath Lake Oahe’s waters, the Dakota Access Pipeline transports crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Under the Mineral Leasing Act, 30 U.S.C. § 185, the pipeline could not traverse the federally owned land at the Oahe crossing site without an easement from the Corps. The question presented here is whether the Corps
violated the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C. § 4321, by issuing that easement without preparing an environmental impact statement despite substantial criticisms from the Tribes and, if so, what should be done about that failure. We agree with the district court that the Corps acted unlawfully, and we affirm the court’s order vacating the easement while the Corps prepares an environmental impact statement. But we reverse the court’s order to the extent it directed that the pipeline be shut down and emptied of oil.
Here is the complaint in Rosebud Sioux Tribe v. Barnett (D.S.D.):