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Law
Judicial activism raised on Oneida Nation case


A lawyer for the Oneida Nation of New York questioned whether the U.S. Supreme Court engaged in judicial activism with its recent decision that went against the tribe.

William Taylor said the court in 1985 ruled 5-4 that the tribe had grounds to pursue a 200-year-old land claim. But this past March, court said in an 8-1 decision that the tribe waited too long to assert sovereignty over the land claim area. Justice John Paul Stevens dissented.

"Who is the judicial activist here?" Taylor said at a Hamilton College forum, The Syracuse Post-Standard reported. "Is it five justices (in 1985) who ruled that the Oneidas have the right to seek rent? Is it the eight justices in the Sherrill case who decided a case based on arguments not even briefed by the lawyers? Or is it Justice Stevens?"

The decision prompted the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to throw out the Cayuga land claim.

Get the Story:
Rulings change with justices (The Syracuse Post-Standard 11/16)

Relevant Links:
Oneida Nation, New York - http://www.oneida-nation.net

Sherrill v. Oneida Nation Decision:
Syllabus | Opinion [Ginsburg] | Concurrence [Souter] | Dissent [Stevens]

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