Column: Land-into-trust case an important one
"There was a time, not so long ago, when some people in southeastern Connecticut worried that the two casino tribes, newly rich and expansion-minded, were going to burst out of their existing reservations, buy land by the hundreds of acres, put it into federal trust and remove it forever from local tax rolls and planning control.

For years, the Mashantucket Pequots, the three towns surrounding their reservation and the state of Connecticut waged the so-called annexation wars, all the way through a federal appeals court, until a truce of sorts finally emerged, just shy of a conclusive final ruling.

It is curious that now, as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to take up the issue of how tribes like the Pequots and the Mohegans might expand their sovereign lands, that the Connecticut tribes, hit hard by declining revenues and credit rating downgrades, may not be so expansion hungry.

Still, reservation expansion could soon be back on the planning boards here in Connecticut and all over the country.

The case to be argued Nov. 3 before the Supreme Court is being closely watched by states and tribes everywhere and could have an enormous impact here in southern New England.

”Quite simply, (a decision against the states) could eliminate any limit on the property that could be taken into trust anywhere, any time, in the state of Connecticut, or in any other state, by a federally recognized tribe,” Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal suggested Tuesday in an assessment of the pending Supreme Court case.

”The implications would be huge and historic.”"

Get the Story:
David Collins: Tribe Could Make History (The New London Day 10/15)

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:
Land-into-trust argument fight gets even more nasty (10/9)
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)