Who Won Indian Law and Policy in 2014? First Round Bracket — 4 of 8

Whew, losing steam. Maybe finish round 1 tomorrow.

Here’s the second half of the Category 2 bracket.

# 2 Tribal sovereign immunity

Big winner in the Supreme Court.And perhaps SCOTUS has had its fill by denying some petitions, here, here (filed out of time), and here, and here.

Some other good cases for tribes: no waiver in gaming compact (California), and Minnesota, immunity from state tax foreclosures, immunity from third party subpoenas in federal court litigation, immunity of tribally owned payday lenders, and immunity from simple contract claims.

Some where tribal interests lost: waiver through removal to federal court, waiver by virtue of not being sufficiently governmental, waiver by Congress in Bankruptcy Act, waiver by purchase of insurance, no immunity of tribal governmental organizations, and no immunity from tribal court exhaustion.

And no, Western Sky is not immune from suit.


# 15 Alternative energy

Solar power is controversial at Colorado River Indian Tribes, and wind energy at Osage. So quit messing with mineral estates and sacred sites, please!

# 7 American Indian education

2014 was the 60th year since Brown v. Board, and so Indian law programs are hosting conferences on Indian education (MSU, Kansas, and now Arizona State but that’s 2015). Dept. of Education did a listening tour. Cobell money. BIE reorganizing.


# 10 Climate Change

Seems odd to seed this so low, but there’s no significant litigation out there pending (unless the Court grants cert in this), no administrative or legislative action. Depressing. There’s this:

Guidelines for Considering Traditional Knowledges in Climate Change Initiatives

UPDATE: Also, there’s this:

2014-12-24 FR CEQ NEPA draft climate effects guidance

# 3 Violence against Women Act

Good news in Alaska. Pascua going ahead full steam. Even Harvard paid attention. 2015 is when others can move ahead.


# 14 Indian criminal sentencing

Sentencing disparities are prevalent. USSG is paying attention. CA8 Judge Bright believes this issue to be the biggest issue he faces.

# 6 Tribal court exhaustion

A solid year for tribal court exhaustion. Penobscot. Thlopthlocco Tribal Town. Caddo. Rosebud Sioux, twice.


# 11 Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act