The petition is here. This case concerns the validity of25 CFR Part 291, the procedures established by the Secretary of the Interior to act as a “Seminole fix.”
There is no serious chance the Court will grant cert in this case, unless the United States also files a petition. Even then, this is a likely case of first impression, a death knell for cert petitions.
Really, I should get out of the certiorari prediction business….
The D.C. Circuit affirmed the decision of the Secretary of Interior declining to approve the California Miwok Tribe’s constitution on the grounds that only a small number of tribal members participated in its formation, to the exclusion of most others.
Recently, the Tenth Circuit decided Kansas v. Kempthorne, perhaps the final round of the Wyandotte Nation of Oklahoma’s bid to open a casino in Kansas City. After a decade of litigation, it appears the Nation has prevailed. What was interesting about the final product was that the 10th Circuit held that the State’s arguments were barred by the Quiet Title Act — because the Secretary had taken the land into trust prior to the filing of the State’s lawsuit, the QTA barred the suit.
Here’s the opinion: CA10 Opinion
Here’s the appellant brief (Kansas and three tribes): Appellant’s Opening Brief
Here’s the federal response brief: Federal Appellee Brief
Here’s the reply brief: Appellant’s Reply Brief
Last December, the federal court denied the Cherokee Nation’s motion to dismiss Vann v. Kempthorne. The Nation had argued that it was a necessary and indispensable party under FRCP 19. And, because it hadn’t waived its immunity, the Nation argued that the federal case must be dismissed. The United States argued that the case should be dismissed under the tribal court exhaustion doctrine. The court disagreed.
From the Kalamazoo Gazette: “Both sides said they were optimistic after arguments were presented Friday before the U.S. Court of Appeals over the future of a proposed Indian casino in Wayland Township.James Nye, a spokesman for the Gun Lake Tribe of Potawatomi Indians, said the group is prepared to begin casino construction before year’s end if the three-judge panel ejects a challenge by Michigan Gambling Opposition, or MichGO.”
This case involves a challenge to the Secretary of Interior’s decision to take land into trust for gaming purposes benefiting the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (a/k/a Gun Lake Band).
Here is a recent news article noting that the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument in this case this morning.
Here is Gun Lake’s appellate brief [it is very large, 103 pages].