Federal Court Rejects Diné CARE Challenge to Fracking Near Chaco Canyon

Here are the materials in Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment v. Zinke (D.N.M.):

112 dine care opening brief

113 us response

117 reply

132 dct order


Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, cultural resources, Environmental, Research | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tenth Circuit Briefs in Eminent Domain Dispute involving Kiowa Tribe

Here are the briefs in Enable Oklahoma Intrastate Transmission LLC v. A 25 Foot Wide Easement:

enable brief

landowners brief

United States brief

Lower court materials here and here.


Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Research, sovereign immunity | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

John Oliver on Ryan Zinke


Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Humor, Research | Tagged | Leave a comment

Dean Angelique EagleWoman’s Resignation from Lakehead University


Posted in Author: Ann Tweedy, News | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kristen Carpenter & Angela Riley: “Privatizing the Reservation?”

Kristen A. Carpenter and Angela R. Riley have posted their fascinating article, “Privatizing the Reservation?“, on SSRN. The article is forthcoming in the Stanford Law Review. Here is the abstract:

The problems of American Indian poverty and reservation living conditions have inspired various explanations. One account advanced by certain economists and commentators is now animating the Trump administration’s apparent desire to ‘privatize’ Indian lands, namely that reservation poverty is rooted in the federal Indian trust arrangement, which preserves the tribal land base by limiting the marketability of lands within reservations. Policy makers are advocating for measures that would promote the individuation and alienability of tribal lands, while diminishing federal and tribal oversight, toward wealth maximization. Taking a different view, this Article complicates and challenges the narrative of Indian poverty and land tenure advanced by advocates for privatization. We focus on real estate and housing in Indian Country to make three points. First, we argue the salience of American Indian homelands as places of collective religious significance, socio-economic sustenance, and territorial governance has been lost in the privatization debate, which also largely disregards issues of remedial justice associated with conquest and colonization. Second, we introduce to the legal literature new empirical data and economic analysis demonstrating that the current system of land tenure in Indian Country is much more varied, and recent innovations in federal-tribal housing and finance programs are more promising, than some of the calls for privatization would suggest. Finally, using specific examples from Indian Country, we highlight a model of indigenous self-determination and sustainability, rooted in the international human rights movement, that deserves attention in ongoing domestic policy debates with the potential to advance the well-being of humanity more broadly.

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Scholarship | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

HHS in the News, and in Regulations, and in Lawsuits

Late last week, this article from Politico started making the rounds:

But the Trump administration contends the tribes are a race rather than separate governments, and exempting them from Medicaid work rules — which have been approved in three states and are being sought by at least 10 others — would be illegal preferential treatment. “HHS believes that such an exemption would raise constitutional and federal civil rights law concerns,” according to a review by administration lawyers.

The Tribal Technical Advisory Group sent a letter to Administrator Verma, linked to in the article and also posted here. The Dear Tribal Leader letter from CMS is attached as an appendix to that letter. As the article states, the letter says “Unfortunately, we are constrained by statute and are concerned that requiring states to exempt AI/ANs from work and community engagement requirements could raise civil rights issues” with no further explanation.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). So is the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), which has recently called into question the Final Rule on collecting additional data on children in foster care, including important elements on ICWA and also LGBTQ+ kiddos.

Since the election, there have been articles describing VP Pence’s interest in HHS:

On Monday, President Donald Trump nominated Alex Azar, a former Indianapolis-based drug executive and longtime Pence supporter as Health and Human Services secretary. If confirmed, Azar would join an Indiana brain trust that already includes Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma and Surgeon General Jerome Adams. Two of Verma’s top deputies — Medicaid director Brian Neale and deputy chief of staff Brady Brookes — are former Pence hands as well, as is HHS’ top spokesman, Matt Lloyd.

Finally, in late March, Texas, which had added two additional states as plaintiffs in the first amended complaint–Indiana and Louisiana–amended their complaint in Texas v. Zinke to include HHS and Secretary Azar as defendants in the ICWA lawsuit, where Count IV claims ICWA’s placement preferences violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.




Posted in Author: Kate E. Fort, Child Welfare, ICWA, public comments, Regulations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Idaho SCT Briefs in Coeur d’Alene Water Rights Case

Here are the briefs (so far) in Coeur d’Alene Tribe v. State of Idaho:

Tribe Opening Brief

US Opening Brief

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Research, water rights | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Salt Lake Tribune Editorial: “It’s time for San Juan County’s white residents to speak up for their American Indian neighbors”

Here. Try going through google news if the link doesn’t work.

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, voting rights | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Job Announcement – AILP Fellow at Colorado Law



Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, jobs, Research | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Pipeline to Law Workshop at ASU (Aug. 1-5, 2018)

Here (PDF):

Pipeline To Law Workshops - ASU 2018

Pipeline to Law Workshop at ASU Continue reading

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Education | Tagged | Leave a comment