Land-into-trust argument fight gets even more nasty
A dispute over who will present the state of Rhode Island's views in a land-into-trust case before the U.S. Supreme Court is getting even more nasty as the November 3 hearing approaches.

Joseph Larisa Jr., the assistant solicitor for Indian Affairs in the town of Charlestown, wants a coin toss to determine who will argue Carcieri v. Kempthorne. That has Attorney General Patrick Lynch calling Larisa an "oppositional, defiant toddler" with a massive ego.

"We don’t think it’s appropriate to engage in a coin toss with a part-time solicitor of a town," a spokesperson for Lynch told The Providence Journal. The only thing that has made this the controversy that is it is Joe Larisa’s ego, which is astounding."

Lynch and Gov. Donald Carcieri (R) want Theodore B. Olson, a former Bush administration official, to present the case. Olson was in charge of Supreme Court cases for President Bush and has argued before the court 50 times.

At issue is whether the Narragansett Tribe can acquire land under the Indian Reorganization Act even though the tribe wasn't recognized at the time of the act's passage in 1934. If the tribe can acquire new lands, the state claims it has jurisdiction over them.

Get the Story:
State, town can’t agree on who argues tribal land case (The Providence Journal 10/9)

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:
Attorneys at 'impasse' for land-into-trust arguments (10/8)
U.S. Supreme Court adds Indian law cases to docket (10/7)
Arguments still not settled in land-into-trust case (10/7)
Narragansett Tribe won't argue at Supreme Court (10/6)
SCOTUSBlog: Narragansett land-into-trust case (9/17)
Former Bush lawyer paid $200K for land-into-trust case (9/12)
State argues over arguments in land-into-trust case (9/8)
Former Bush lawyer to argue land-into-trust case (6/6)
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)