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Supreme Court asks for DOJ brief in Oneida case

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday asked the Department of Justice to submit a brief in the Oneida Nation's treaty rights case.

The city of Sherrill is challenging a ruling that forbids state and local taxation of the tribe's treaty lands in New York. A city lawyer took the court's request as a positive sign that the case is being closely observed. A tribal spokesperson said he expected the federal government to back the tribe since the government intervened in its land claim lawsuit.

The federal government is not part of the suit but is occasionally asked for its views on a case. The last time it happened affecting a tribe, the Bush administration urged the court not to accept the case but then opposed the tribe when it was.

An invitation brief is usually due within 45 days but it took the Department of Justice more than four months to respond in the Miccosukee Tribe's case.

Get the Story:
High court wants government's perspective on Oneida tax feud (AP 2/23)

Relevant Documents:
Supreme Court Docket Sheet: No. 03-855

Get the Decision:
Majority Opinion | Van Graafeiland Dissent

Lower Court Decision:
Oneida Nation v. Sherrill et al (June 4, 2001)

Relevant Links:
Oneida Nation -

Related Stories:
Oneida Nation urges Supreme Court to reject tax case (01/29)
Appeals court upholds 1794 Oneida treaty (07/22)
Dissenting judge suggested tribe wanted casino (07/22)
Oneida Nation awaits ruling on tax status (04/29)
Taxes of Oneida land questioned (05/15)
Judge: Oneida land is Indian Country (6/7)
Oneida Nation disputes tax lawsuit (2/1)