Native American Law Watch – Spring 2016

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  • Reservation Diminishment: Implications for Tribal Taxing Powers over Non-Members
    Writing another chapter in its long-running book regarding whether boundaries of Indian Reservations across the country have been diminished or reduced by Congressional action, on March 22, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Nebraska v. Parker. In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Thomas, the Court held that the boundaries of the Omaha Indian Tribe’s (“Tribe”) reservation in eastern Nebraska were not diminished by an 1882 Act of Congress proclaiming that certain “lands are open for settlement under such rules as the [Secretary of the Interior] may prescribe.” Continue Reading
  • Tribal Nations, CERCLA Litigation, and Sovereign Immunity
    In Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Pueblo of Laguna, The Federal Court in New Mexico recently ruled that a tribal entity had partially waived sovereign immunity, allowing a limited claim against it under the Comprehensive Environmental, Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”). Although the Pueblo has requested reconsideration, the case adds to a small body of case law regarding tribal nations and CERCLA. Continue Reading