Oneida Nation of New York v. Andrew Cuomo; Seneca Nation of Indians, et al v. Andrew Cuomo
The Seneca Nation of Indians ("Seneca Nation"), Unkechauge Indian Nation ("Unkechauge Nation"), St. Regis Mohawk Tribe ("Mohawk Tribe"), Cayuga Indian Nation of New York ("Cayuga Nation"), and Oneida Nation of New York ("Oneida Nation") (collectively, "plaintiffs") sought to enjoin amendments to New York's tax law which were designed to tax on-reservation cigarette sales to non-member purchasers. At issue was whether New York's amended tax law interfered with plaintiffs' tribal sovereignty and violated their immunity from state taxation. The court held that plaintiffs failed to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of their claims that the precollection scheme impermissibly imposed a direct tax on tribal retailers, or alternatively, imposed an undue and unnecessary economic burden on tribal retailers; and that the coupon and prior approval systems interfered with their rights of self-government and rights to purchase cigarettes free from state taxation. Accordingly, the district court abused its discretion in granting the Oneida Nation's motion for preliminary injunction and correctly rejected the Seneca Nation's, Cayuga Nation's, Unkechauge Nation's, and Mohawk Tribe's motions for preliminary injunctions.