Rhode Island appeals land-into-trust ruling
The state of Rhode Island is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a land-into-trust case that is being watched by tribes nationwide.

In July, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Bureau of Indian Affairs can place 31 acres in trust for the Narragansett Tribe. The tribe is like any other tribe and can follow the Indian Reorganization Act, which authorized the land-into-trust process, the court said.

The state argues that the BIA can't acquire the land because the tribe wasn't recognized at the time the IRA was passed in 1934. But even if the land is placed in trust, the state says it should have jurisdiction because Congress settled the tribe's land claim and established an 1,800-acre reservation that falls under state jurisdiction.

The National Congress of American Indians, the Native American Rights Fund and tribes nationwide filed briefs when the case was in the 1st Circuit. They supported the Narragansett Tribe's right to follow the land-into-trust process.

The Supreme Court refused to hear a similar case when the state of Connecticut tried to bar the BIA from acquiring land for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. The tribe was not recognized at the time of the IRA and fell under a land claims settlement act that placed its reservation under state jurisdiction.

Get the Story:
Indian land ruling appealed to high court (The Providence Journal 10/19)
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Land-into-Trust Decision:
Carcieri v. Kempthorne (July 20, 2007)

Earlier 1st Circuit Decision:
Carcieri v. Norton (February 9, 2005)

Relevant Documents:
Carcieri v. Norton Briefs, Opinions (NARF-NCAI Tribal Supreme Court Project

Relevant Laws:
Rhode Island Indian Claims Settlement Act (US Code)

Relevant Links:
Narragansett Tribe - http://www.narragansett-tribe.org
Tribal Supreme Court Project - http://www.narf.org/sct/index.html

Related Stories:
Narragansett Tribe plans to use land for housing (07/27)
State of Rhode Island loses land-into-trust case (7/23)
Court upholds Narragansett land-into-trust (7/20)
Appeals court hears land-into-trust dispute (1/10)
Appeals court to hear land-into-trust case (1/8)
Appeals court to rehear land-into-trust dispute (12/07)
High court rejects state raid, land claim (11/28)
Supreme Court won't hear land-into-trust cases (10/3)
Court subjects Narragansett Tribe to all state laws (05/25)
Appeals court hears tribal-state sovereignty dispute (12/07)
Narragansett Tribe back in court over sovereignty (12/6)
Rhode Island set to appeal trust land decision (09/16)
Trust land challenge rejected by appeals court (9/14)
Appeals court agrees to rehear sovereignty case (07/11)
Tribal sovereignty must be respected, court rules (05/13)
Appeals court sides with tribe in trust land dispute (02/10)
Court won't rehear challenge to tribal land base (05/21)
Massachusetts court deals blow to tribe's sovereignty (12/10)
R.I. tribe takes smokeshop case to higher court (01/27)
R.I. to appeal Narragansett land-into-trust case (10/1)
Judge affirms Narragansett Tribe land-into-trust (9/30)
State's raid on tribal land sparks strong reactions (07/16)
Court says U.S. can protect tribe's interests (02/04)
Land still in limbo after decade-long fight (10/16)
The day the Supreme Court said no (10/16)
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