Indian Affairs Committee passes land-into-trust fix
By a voice vote, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Thursday approved S.1703, a bill to fix the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar.

The decision limits the land-into-trust process to tribes that were "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934. S.1703 ensures that all tribes, regardless of the date of their recognition, can acquire trust land.

At a business meeting yesterday, the committee accepted an amendment that requires the Interior Department to come up with a list of tribes that may be affected by the decision or the 1934 date. The provision does not affect the department's ability to acquire land for any particular tribe.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), the sponsor of the amendment, said he wants an accounting of tribes that were recognized as of 1934, noting that some have obviously been overlooked. "It's a mess right now," he said.

The House Natural Resources Committee has held a hearing on two versions of the land-into-trust fix but no action has been taken there.

Get the Story:
Senate panel OKs bill to overturn ruling on Narragansetts (The Providence Journal 12/17)
Supes see trouble in tribal-rights bill (The Amador Ledger-Dispatch 12/17)

Committee Notice:
BUSINESS MEETING on pending committee issues (December 17, 2009)

Land-Into-Trust Fix:
S.1703 | H.R.3697 | H.R.3742

Supreme Court Decision:
Syllabus | Opinion [Thomas] | Concurrence [Breyer] | Dissent [Stevens] | Concurrence/Dissent [Souter]

Supreme Court Documents:
Oral Argument Transcript | Briefs

Related Stories:
Agenda for Senate Indian Affairs business meeting (12/16)
Obama weighs other options for land-into-trust fix (11/20)
Rep. Kennedy backs bill to fix land-into-trust ruling (11/06)
Audio: House Resources hearing on land-into-trust (11/4)
Obama administration supports land-into-trust fix (11/4)
Witness list for House hearing on land-into-trust (11/3)
House Resources hearing on land-into-trust fix (10/29)
Schwarzennegger opposes Lytton land-into-trust (10/26)
Byron Dorgan: Urgent fix to land-into-trust ruling (10/22)
Towns in Connecticut fight land-into-trust fix (10/14)
Anti-gaming group fights land-into-trust fix (10/6)
Cole introduces fix to land-into-trust decision (10/2)
Land-into-trust bill lacks Republican sponsors (9/29)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe welcomes land fix (9/25)
Dorgan introduces fix to land-into-trust ruling (9/24)