Federal Recognition
Shinnecock Nation case tests legal waters

The federal judge handling a dispute between the Shinnecock Nation and the state of New York could be setting new legal precedents.

Courts almost always stay out of recognition matters, leaving the task to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. But U.S. District Judge Thomas Platt said he would decide whether the tribe qualifies. The BIA says it could take 10 years before it resolves the tribe's status.

The lawsuit was filed by the state against the tribe. But Platt injected the federal government in the case, a move the Department of Justice plans to appeal.

Platt has urged the parties to discuss the case. They are meeting this week. The dispute started when the tribe started to build a casino on its reservation. The state contends the tribe is subject to state laws.

Get the Story:
Shinnecock Case Could Set National Precedent (Newsday 1/26)

Relevant Links:
Shinnecock Nation - http://www.shinnecocknation.com

Related Stories:
Shinnecock leaders compare opposition to genocide (1/22)
BIA wants Shinnecocks to wait a decade for status (12/18)
N.Y. opinion affirmed Shinnecock Nation sovereignty (09/19)
Decision awaited in Shinnecock casino case (08/06)