Tribal Governments

News & Analysis as of

U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Tribal Sovereign Immunity Issue Related to Individual Tribal Employees

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Lewis v. Clarke, (No. 15-1500) addressing the issue of whether the sovereign immunity of an Indian Tribe bars individual-damages actions against tribal employees for torts...more

Legislative Opportunities for Tribal Governments Under the Trump Administration

With the advent of a Republican-controlled White House and Congress, many who work in Washington, D.C., on behalf of Indian tribes may be tempted to adopt a defensive posture. But while it always is important to defend tribal...more

Court Decisions Define the Future for Tribal Gaming

Definitions and syntax. Not only on middle school quizzes, but also what determined the fate of the Mashpee Wampanoag and Cowlitz tribal casinos in Massachusetts and Washington, respectively. Two federal court decisions...more

The Law on Tribal Court Jurisdiction over Non-Members Stands with Supreme Court’s Tied Vote in Dollar General Corp. v. Mississippi...

John Doe, a teenage member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, was working as an intern at a Dollar General store on the Tribe’s Reservation when he was sexually molested by the manager of the store. Doe sued Dollar...more

The National 8(a) Association Summer Conference Recap; Mentor-Protégé Regs Looming

On June 13-14, the National 8(a) Association held its annual summer conference in Anchorage, Alaska. The conference included useful programs on a variety of topics of interest to tribal, Alaska Native Corporations (ANC), and...more

Tribal Employment and Jobs Protection Act Seeks to Exempt Native American Tribes from ACA

The Tribal Employment and Jobs Protection Act (H.R. 3080) could have a big impact on tribes if it becomes law. The legislation, which was passed by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee June 15, seeks to exempt Native...more

Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) Presents its Report of Recommendations on June 8, 2016

On June 8, 2016, the 21 members of the ACT presented its 15th report of recommendations to the IRS in a public meeting in Washington, DC. The ACT report addressed five issues...more

EPA Brownfields Site Planning Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Fiscal Year 2017 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning program grants. With estimated funding of $4 million and a maximum grant amount of...more

HHS to Apply Medicare Rates for Physician, Other Health Services Purchased by IHS-Funded Programs

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), on March 21, 2016, issued a final rule to apply Medicare payment methodologies to all physician and other health professional...more

Preemption Issues Heat Up in the Payday Lending Space

Last week, Director Cordray testified at a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee during the CFPB’s Semi-Annual Report to Congress. As part of those proceedings, the issue of federal preemption arose in the...more

The Nenqay Deni Accord: The People’s Accord – Framework to Break New Ground by Reconciling the Past

The next step in the Tsilhqot’in Nation’s journey to self-government was taken on February 11, 2016, when the Tsilhqot’in Nation and the Province of British Columbia signed the Nenqay Deni Accord: The People’s Accord. The...more

Parity for Tribal Governments Operating Drones

When Congress first authorized the domestic use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA), it created special, streamlined provisions for the...more

Supreme Court Rejects Tribe’s Equitable Tolling Argument in Contract Support Litigation

On January 25, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin v. United States, rejecting an argument that equitable tolling preserves some claims against the United States for failure to pay...more

IRS Amends TED Bond Volume Cap Rules to Accommodate Draw-Down Loans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-83 on Dec. 4, 2015, a change that will make it easier for Indian tribal governments to use tribal economic development (TED) volume cap for "draw-down" loan structures in...more

FERC Meeting Agenda Summary - September 2015

In this issue: • Electric Items • Miscellaneous • Gas Items • Hydro Items • Certificates Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s September 17, 2015...more

A Tribal Financial Executive’s Guide to Deferred Per Capita Plans

With the top tax bracket at nearly 40 percent, Indian tribes making substantial per capita distributions are asking what they can do to reduce their members’ tax liabilities. One option to consider is a deferred per capita...more

EPA’s Clean Power Plan: A Regional Analysis

EPA’s recently issued Clean Power Plan (“CPP” or “Plan”) affects every state differently. The Plan has a decidedly nationwide impact—reducing the United States’ power plant greenhouse gas emissions 32 percent by the year...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights - July 2015 #3

In quick succession, governors in Alaska and Utah announce Medicaid expansions this week; Iowa is transitioning its expansion away from the Marketplace to Medicaid managed care, for now; and, HHS extends its exception to...more

Developer Tips: Top 11 Misperceptions about Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act - Even experienced project proponents can get caught off guard by common misunderstandings about cultural resources protection laws. One of the most misunderstood...more

Ninth Circuit Holds that Indian Tribes are not “Persons” subject to FCA

In a brief unpublished memorandum opinion released on June 15, 2015, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal of an FCA claim brought against a tribe, holding that tribes do not fit within the FCA’s...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Still No Budget as Statutory Adjournment Date Nears - As the legislative session ticks toward...more

Bills Propose to Reverse National Labor Relations Board Jurisdictions over Indian Tribal Governments

The National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) was enacted by Congress in 1935. The Act, also known as the Wagner Act after its champion, New York Senator Robert F. Wagner, passed the Senate in May 1935, the House in June 1935,...more

Senate Holds Hearing on ESA Reform Bills

On May 6, 2015, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on several Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform bills, including at least three that are similar to bills introduced in 2014 in the House of...more

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

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