Turtle Talk: Decision brewing in land-into-trust case
"Who knows, except the people at the Supreme Court?

One possibility is that the Supreme Court denied cert in MichGO because the Court is going to uphold the Secretary of Interior’s authority to take land into trust for tribes not federally recognized in 1934 (tribes like the Gun Lake Band and the Narragansett Tribe), the key issue in Carcieri. If the Court was to reject the Secretary’s authority in Carcieri, then there would be reason to grant cert in MichGO to correct the lower court’s holding. They might choose to do this through a tool called GVR — Grant, Vacate, and Remand. But if the Court was to affirm the Secretary’s holding, then the lower court decision in MichGO is correct even after Carcieri, and so there’s no reason to review the decision.

However, there might be a problem with this theory; namely (if I am correct), MichGO never once argued that Gun Lake Band is ineligible under Section 5 because it wasn’t recognized in 1934. They did raise it in the cert petition, but one suspects that it’s too late then. MichGO could have raised the question from the outset, because the Narragansett litigation had been ongoing for some time. So maybe that’s why the Court denied cert in MichGO. And, if so, the cert denial offers no clues as to the possible outcome in Carcieri."

Get the Story:
MichGO Decision — Implications for Carcieri v. Kempthorne? (Turtle Talk 1/21)

Briefs in MichGO v. Kempthorne:
Petition | DOJ Opposition | Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band Opposition

D.C. Circuit Decision:
MI Gambling Oppo v. Kempthorne, Dirk (April 29, 2008)

Related Stories:
Land-into-trust case rejected by Supreme Court (1/22)
Land-into-trust case awaits Supreme Court action (1/13)
Turtle Talk: More thoughts on land-into-trust cases (01/13)
Supreme Court rejects two Indian law cases (1/12)
DOJ brief argues 1934 land-into-trust issue again (12/16)
Supreme Court takes on first Indian law case of term (11/04)
Turtle Talk: Poor outlook on land-into-trust case (11/4)
Rhode Island optimistic on land-into-trust case (11/04)
Oregon tribes await outcome of land-into-trust case (11/04)
Appeals court delays casino for Michigan tribe (8/18)
Appeals court judge strikes blows against Indian rights (5/5)
Appeals court backs Gun Lake land-into-trust (4/29)
Appeals court backs Michigan land-into-trust acquisition (7/5)
Appeals court sides with tribe in trust land dispute (1/9)