Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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Plaintiffs filed these lawsuits challenging the federal government's decision in 2008 to give the Oneida Indian Nation of New York over approximately 13,000 acres of land in central New York. The district court granted summary judgment to defendants, rejecting plaintiffs' claims that the land‐into‐trust procedures are unconstitutional and that certain provisions of the Indian Land Consolidation Act (ILCA), 25 U.S.C. 2201 et seq., bar the United States from taking land into trust for the Tribe. The court agreed with the district court that the entrustment procedure generally, and this entrustment in particular, lie within the federal government’s long‐recognized “plenary” power over Indian tribes: Neither principles of state sovereignty nor the Constitution’s Enclave Clause—which requires state consent for the broadest federal assertions of jurisdiction over land within a state—prevents the federal government from conferring on the Tribe jurisdiction over these trust lands. The court further held that the Oneida Nation of New York is eligible as a “tribe” within the meaning of 25 U.S.C. 465 and 2201(1) for land to be taken into trust on its behalf. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgments. View "Upstate Citizens for Equality v. United States" on Justia Law

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The Nation filed suit against defendants contending that the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), 25 U.S.C. 2701‐2721, preempts the application of a local anti‐gambling ordinance to a Nation‐owned gaming facility located on land owned by the tribe (the Lakeside facility). The district court dismissed the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and, following a motion for reconsideration, concluded that the individual plaintiffs lacked standing. The court concluded that the district court had subject matter jurisdiction, as it was not required to resolve questions of tribal law to hear the lawsuit. The court held that it was entitled to defer to the BIA's recognition of an individual as authorized to act on behalf of the Nation, notwithstanding the limited issue that occasioned that recognition. The court also concluded that the individual plaintiffs have standing to sue because they will suffer an injury distinct from any felt by the Nation. Accordingly, the court vacated the district court's order and remanded for further proceedings. View "Cayuga Nation v. Tanner" on Justia Law