High court weighs Narragansett land-into-trust

The U.S. Supreme Court is meeting in a private conference today to consider the Narragansett Tribe's land-into-trust case.

The state of Rhode Island says the Bureau of Indian Affairs can't acquire land in trust for the tribe. The state says the Indian Reorganization Act only applies to tribes that were recognized as of 1934.

The Narragansett Tribe was recognized in 1983. But the Department of Justice says the IRA doesn't contain a time constraint.

The National Congress of American Indians, the Native American Rights Fund and other tribes are backing the Narragansetts. The Rhode Island Statewide Coalition, the Citizens Equal Rights Foundation and 16 states are backing Rhode Island.

ScotusBlog has listed the petition as one to watch though the Turtle Talk Blog doesn't think the justices will hear the case. An announcement is expected early next week though an orders in pending cases might be released this afternoon.

The case is Carcieri v. Kempthorne, No. 07-526.

1st Circuit Decisions:
En Banc (July 20, 2007) | Panel (February 9, 2005)

Briefs and Other Documents:
Carcieri v. Kempthorne (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

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Groups file brief in pending land-into-trust case (02/06)
Supreme Court brief backs land-into-trust (1/29)
Rhode Island appeals land-into-trust ruling (10/19)
Narragansett Tribe plans to use land for housing (07/27)
State of Rhode Island loses land-into-trust case (7/23)
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