Native American Issues

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Gaming Legal News: Volume 8, Number 8

The Dance Known as “Texas Two Step” - The two-step is a partner dance, consisting of a “leader” (traditionally a man) and a “follower” (traditionally a woman). The leader determines the movements and patterns of the...more

IRS Issues Notice Addressing Impact of the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014 on Existing IRS Guidance

On April 16, 2015, the IRS released Notice 2015-34 clarifying the effect of the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014, Pub. L. No. 113-168, 128 Stat. 1883 (2014) (the “Act”), which added new Section 139E to the...more

IRS Issues Guidance on Tribal General Welfare Exclusion and Safe Harbors - Notice 2015-34 Provides Instruction on the Tribal...

On April 16, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") released Notice 2015-34, its first guidance on general welfare since President Obama signed the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act (the "Act") into law in September...more

Michigan Tax Update: Ballot Initiative Good for Tribes

The Michigan legislature has approved a ballot initiative that will be submitted for voter approval in May 2015. If approved, the initiative will impact Tribes in two important ways...more

Transgender Native American Prisoner Denied Access to Sweat Lodge and Unsatisfied with the Alternative Sues under RLUIPA: More on...

Corrections Corporation of America (Dist. Idaho 2015) because the decision reflects a recent trend in RLUIPA cases: close judicial scrutiny as to whether a compelling government interest is furthered by “the least restrictive...more

New California Internet Poker Bills Seek Political Compromise and Consensus, But May Further Divide Stakeholders in the Absence of...

Efforts to pass online poker legislation in California have failed for years, in large part due to the failure to achieve consensus on the most critical issues affecting stakeholders. California is now poised to consider new...more

Michigan Court of Appeals Reverses Adoption of Indian Child; Cites Michigan Adoptive Placement Preference Standards

As mentioned in a recent blog post regarding child custody proceedings involving Indian children in Michigan, significant legal and procedural requirements must be met before an Indian child may be adopted. ...more

Federal Government Takes First Steps to Impose Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing on Public Lands

On March 20, 2015, the Interior Department announced the issuance of a final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on Federal and American Indian lands. The rule was initially proposed by the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”)...more

Californian court puts tribal online bingo website on ice

A Native American tribe’s attempt to launch an internet bingo website has faced setbacks following a recent court order temporarily restraining the site’s operation. In its decision, the Court made a number of important...more

Gaming Legal News - Volume 8 Number 1: Idaho Tribes And Community Leaders Seek To Limit "Instant Racing" Gaming Machines

A popular and profitable form of gaming has sparked a controversy in Idaho between the state’s Indian tribes and horse racetracks. "Instant Racing" video slot machines replay the last seconds of horse races run in the past,...more

Legal Developments in Indian Country in 2014

2014 was a year that featured many positive legal developments for tribes. From the favorable Supreme Court decision in the Bay Mills case written by Justice Sotomayor (who continues to be a leader on the Court for tribal...more

For the Redskins, NFL Playoff Season Means. . . Constitutionality Questions?

The NFL playoffs aren’t the only big football news happening this month! The U.S. Department of Justice recently decided to intervene in the Washington Redskins trademark litigation over the constitutionality of certain...more

The Importance Of Selecting An Available Arbitration Forum

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed a Florida district court’s denial of Cashcall’s motion to compel arbitration, as the forum selected in the parties’ loan agreement was not available. Appellee Abraham Inetianbor initially...more

Holt v. Hobbs Aftermath: Supreme Court Remands Native American Prisoners’ RLUIPA Claims

Less than a week after its decision in Holt v. Hobbs, the Supreme Court in Knight v. Thompson, No. 13-955 (2015), vacated and remanded the Eleventh Circuit’s rejection of Native American prisoners’ claims challenging prison...more

The US Department of Justice Seeks to Intervene in the Washington Redskins’ Trademark Suit to Defend the Constitutionality of the...

The Washington Redskins professional football team will soon not only be battling Native Americans over the registrability of the REDSKINS trademark, but will also have to cross swords with the US Government. Last week, the...more

U.S. Attorney General States Principles for Working With Tribes

On Friday, December 12, 2014, the Office of the Attorney General issued a notice setting forth principles for the AG and Department of Justice to work with federally recognized Indian tribes. Highlights of these principles...more

FERC rules tribes exempt from some energy regulation

When a Native American tribe acquires a hydroelectric power plant licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, does the project become exempt from some federal regulations? Yes, according to a FERC order...more

Department of Justice Memorandum Regarding Legalization of Marijuana in Indian Country Raises More Questions Than Answers

On Thursday December 11, 2014, the press was abuzz about a just released Department of Justice memorandum titled “Policy Statement Regarding Marijuana Issues in Indian Country.” Some news outlets heralded the memorandum as a...more

Does The DBO’s Draft Tribal Consultation Policy Violate the Public Records Act?

Three years ago, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. issued Executive Order B-10-11. Among other things, Governor Brown ordered: that it is the policy of this Administration that every state agency and department...more

Michigan Court of Appeals Reverses Termination of Parental Rights; Cites Indian Child Welfare Act Standard

In any child custody proceeding involving Indian children, all parties should understand there are significant legal and procedural requirements that must be met before parental rights to Indian children may be terminated....more

Trademarks as a Barometer of Change: A Pop Quiz

Designed to appeal and speak to the customers of a specific time and place, trademarks can become hallmarks of a bygone era. The controversy surrounding the use of the REDSKINS trademark and logo shows just how much...more

CEQA Bill to Protect Native American Cultural Resources Creates New Challenges and Opportunities for Project Applicants

On September 25, 2014, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 52 ("AB 52"), which modifies the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") to add new protections for Native American cultural resources and enhances the role of...more

Second Federal Circuit Court Refuses To Enforce Arbitration By South Dakota Tribe

Using a different analysis, but reaching the same result as a recent decision from the Seventh Circuit, the Eleventh Circuit agreed that a defendant could not compel arbitration of consumer claims before the Cheyenne River...more

Seventh Circuit Uses Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(5) to Reopen 23-Year Old Judgment

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(5) allows a party to move for relief from a final judgment on the ground that “it prospectively is no longer equitable.” Motions under Rule 60(b)(5) must be made “within a reasonable...more

Religious Institutions: October 2014

Timely Topics - Church splits and property disputes are not new, but they have certainly grown in number in recent years. In the seminal case on church property disputes, Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 679, 20 L....more

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