Big Fire Law and Policy Group
Advertise:   ads@blueearthmarketing.com   712.224.5420

Law
Supreme Court rejects Virginia treaty rights case


The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear the Mattaponi Tribe's treaty lawsuit against the state of Virginia.

The tribe cited a 1677 treaty with the British in hopes of blocking a large reservoir on ancestral lands. But the Virginia Supreme Court said the state properly issued a permit for the controversial project. The Supreme Court, without comment, declined to review that decision.

Other treaty issues against the city of Newport News could still be considered. A lower court ruled that the 1677 treaty is a matter of state, not federal, law.

The case is Mattaponi Indian Tribe, et al. v. Virginia, No. 05-1141.

Get the Story:
Court refuses reservoir case (AP 6/13)

Virginia Supreme Court Decision:
Alliance to save the Mattaponi Indian v. Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Environmental Quality (November 5, 2005)

Case Documents:
Mattaponi v. Virginia (Native American Rights Fund)

Related Stories:
Virginia's top court hears treaty rights case (09/15)
Mattaponi Tribe appeals treaty case to high court (10/06)
Treaty rights referred to Virginia Supreme Court (09/03)
Judge: Treaty doesn't apply to permit process (4/4)