Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Supreme Court Term May Prove to be Another Difficult Period for Indian Country

WASHINGTON D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court held its opening conference on September 29, 2008 and, as expected, granted review in two Indian law cases—United States v. Navajo Nation and State of Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs—both of which involve lower court decisions favorable to Indian country. First, in United States v. Navajo Nation, the Court will review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upholding the United States’ trust responsibility to the Navajo Nation. This case is part of the on-going litigation between the Navajo Nation and the United States involving disputes surrounding the negotiation of royalty rate adjustments for coal leases entered into between the Navajo Nation and the Peabody Coal Company.

Second, in State of Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Court will review a decision by the Supreme Court of Hawaii which held that the State of Hawaii should be enjoined from selling or transferring “ceded lands” held in trust until the claims of the native Hawaiians to the ceded lands have been resolved. Read more...

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