Court rejects Schaghticoke recognition appeal
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals won't give the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of Connecticut another shot at federal recognition.

The tribe accused state and local officials of exerting "improper political influence" on the Bush administration. But the court said tribe lacked sufficient evidence to back up the claim.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs initially backed the tribe by relying, in part, on the state's continuous recognition of the Schaghticokes. The agency reversed course after a challenge from the state of Connecticut.

The tribe could ask the 2nd Circuit to rehear the case or take the battle to the U.S. Supreme Court. "Whenever you have a governor, two senators, three congressional members and the attorney general try to take your recognition away, it's hard to think there is not political influence," Chief Richard Velky told The Danbury News-Times.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal warned the tribe not to take the case any further. "An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court -- the only recourse left -- would be futile and foolish, and we will fight it vigorously," he said in a press release.

Get the Story:
Schaghticokes lose another round in bid for tribal recognition (The Danbury News-Times 10/20)
For Schaghticokes, the fight's not over (The New London Day 10/20)
Federal appeals court rejects Schaghticoke appeal (The Waterbury Republican-American 10/20)
Appeals court rebuffs attempt by Connecticut's Schaghticoke tribe at federal recognition (AP 10/19)

2nd Circuit Decision:
Schaghticoke Tribal Nation v. Kempthorne (October 19. 2009)