Former Bush lawyer to argue land-into-trust case
Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri (R) is paying a former Bush administration lawyer $200,000 to argue a land-into-trust case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Theodore B. Olson served as Solicitor General at the Department of Justice. In that position, he oversaw all Supreme Court litigation for the federal government.

Prior to joining the Bush administration, Olson represent George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election case. The Supreme Court stopped the recount of votes in Florida, which put Bush in the White House.

That same year, Olsen won the Rice v. Cayetano case on behalf of a non-Native rancher in Hawaii. The Supreme Court ruled that non-Natives could not be barred from voting in elections for a state office that was created to benefit Native Hawaiians.

Incidentally, the state was represented by attorney John Roberts -- who now serves as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was nominated for the position by President Bush.

The land-into-trust case is Carcieri v. Kempthorne. Rhode Island claims that the land-into-trust provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act do not apply to tribes that weren't recognized as of 1934.

The state also argues that an act of Congress that settled a land claim for the Narragansett Tribe bars all future land-into-trust acquisitions.

The case will be heard this fall.

Get the Story:
Noted lawyer hired in land suit (The Providence Journal 6/6)

Supreme Court Documents:
Docket Sheet | Questions Presented | Order List

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)

Related Stories:
Court takes land-into-trust case (2/26)
U.S. Supreme Court accepts land-into-trust case (2/25)
High court weighs Narragansett land-into-trust (2/22)
Groups file brief in pending land-into-trust case (02/06)
Supreme Court brief backs land-into-trust (1/29)