2021-2022 Term
Supreme Court Cases Related to Indian Law

Last Updated: 11/24/21.

Cert Granted

Petition for certiorari has been granted in two Indian law-related cases.

Cert Pending

Petitions for certiorari are pending in thirty-nine Indian law-related cases.

Cert Denied

Petition for certiorari has been denied in five Indian law-related cases.

Cert Granted

Denezpi v. United States
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 20-7622

Questions Presented: Is the Court of Indian Offenses of Ute Mountain Ute Agency a federal agency such that Merle Denezpi's conviction in that court barred his subsequent prosecution in a United States District Court for a crime arising out of the same incident?

History: Petition was filed on 3/26/21. Petition was granted on 10/18/21.

Ruling Below: 979 F.3d 777. United States v. Denezpi.

Ysleta del Sur Pueblo v. Texas
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 20-493

Questions Presented: Whether the Restoration Act provides the Pueblo with sovereign authority to regulate non-prohibited gaming activities on its lands (including bingo), as set forth in the plain language of Section 107(b), the Act's legislative history, and this Court's holding in California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, 480 U.S. 202 (1987), or whether the Fifth Circuit's decision affirming Ysleta I correctly subjects the Pueblo to all Texas gaming regulations.

History: Petition was filed on 10/9/20. Petition was granted on 10/18/21.

Ruling Below: 955 F.3d 408. State of Texas v. Ysleta del Sur Pueblo.

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Cert Pending

Stand Up For California! v. Department of the Interior
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-696

Questions Presented: Whether the Secretary can acquire land in trust on behalf of Indians whose federal supervision was terminated by Congress.

History: Petition was filed on 11/8/21.

Ruling Below: 994 F.3d 616.

Big Sandy Rancheria Enterprises v. Bonta
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-678

Questions Presented: Whether an Indian tribe incorporated by federal charter under section 17 of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 5124) is an "Indian tribe or band with a governing body duly recognized by the Secretary of the Interior" authorized to bring suit under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1362. Whether the Indian Trader Statutes (25 U.S.C. Secs. 261-263) or the Bracker balancing test (see White Mountain Apache Tribe v. Bracker, 448 U.S. 136 (1980)) preempts the State of California's regulation of intertribal cigarette sales, where an Indian tribe sells tribally manufactured cigarettes to Indian tribal buyers on their home reservations.

History: Petition was filed on 11/4/21.

Ruling Below: 1 F.4th 710. Big Sandy Rancheria Enterprises v. Bonta.

Hawkins v. Haaland
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-520

Questions Presented: Does the federal government government possess final decision-making authority over the management of water rights held in trust for an Indian tribe?

History: Petition was filed on 10/5/21.

Ruling Below: 991 F.3d 216. Hawkins v. Haaland.

Haggerty v. United States
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-516

Questions Presented: Whether the "interracial" nature of a minor offense in Indian Country is an element of 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1152, rather than an affirmative defense, and thus must be both pled and proved by the prosecution. Whether the government must plead and prove the "interracial" nature of a minor offense in Indian Country to establish federal subject matter jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1152.

History: Petition was filed on 10/4/21.

Ruling Below: 997 F.3d 292. United States v. Haggerty.

Oklahoma v. Cottingham
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-502

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 10/2/21.

Self v. Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-477

Questions Presented: Whether the immovable-property exception applies to tribal sovereign immunity.

History: Petition was filed on 9/27/21.

Ruling Below: 60 Cal.App.5th 209. Self v. Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria.

Parish v. Oklahoma
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-467

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), applies retroactively to convictions that were final when McGirt was announced.

History: Petition was filed on 9/27/21.

Oklahoma v. Shriver
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-486

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 9/24/21.

Dakota Access, LLC v. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, et al.
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-560

Questions Presented: Whether, under NEPA, an agency that carefully considers all criticisms of its environmental analysis must also "resolve" those criticisms to the court's satisfaction to justify a finding of no significant impact; and whether procedural error under NEPA per se warrants remand with vacatur.

History: Petition was filed on 9/20/21.

Ruling Below: 985 F.3d 1032. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-429

Questions Presented: Whether a State has authority to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes against Indians in Indian Country. Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 9/17/21.

Oklahoma v. Stewart
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-370

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 9/4/21.

Oklahoma v. Jones
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-371

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 9/4/21.

Oklahoma v. Epperson
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-369

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 9/4/21.

Oklahoma v. Cooper
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-372

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 9/4/21.

Oklahoma v. Beck
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-373

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 9/4/21.

Brackeen v. Haaland
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-380

Questions Presented: Whether ICWA's placement preferences--which disfavor non-Indian adoptive families in child placement proceedings involving an "Indian child" and thereby disadvantage those children--discriminate on the basis of race in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Whether ICWA's placement preferences exceed Congress's Article I authority by invading the arena of child placement--the "virtually exclusive province of the States," Sosna v. Iowa, 419 U.S. 393, 404 (1975)--and otherwise commandeering state courts and state agencies to carry out a federal child placement program.

History: Petition was filed on 9/3/21.

Ruling Below: Brackeen v. Bernhardt. 937 F.3d 406.

Texas v. Haaland
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-378

Questions Presented: Whether Congress has the power under the Indian Commerce Clause or otherwise to enact laws governing state child-custody proceedings merely because the child is or may be an Indian. Whether the Indian classifications used in ICWA and its implementing regulations violate the Fifth Amendment's equal-protection guarantee. Whether ICWA and its implementing regulations violate the anticommandeering doctrine by requiring States to implement Congress's child-custody regime. Whether ICWA and its implementing regulations violate the nondelegation doctrine by allowing individual tribes to alter the placement preferences enacted by Congress.

History: Petition was filed on 9/3/21.

Ruling Below: Brackeen v. Bernhardt. 937 F.3d 406.

Cherokee Nation v. Brackeen
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-377

Questions Presented: Did the en banc Fifth Circuit err by invalidating six sets of ICWA provisions--25 U.S.C. Sec. 1912(a), (d), (e)-(f), 1915(a)-(b), (e), and 1951(a)--as impermissibly commandeering States (including via its equally divided affirmance)? Did the en banc Fifth Circuit err by reaching the merits of the plantiffs' claims that ICWA's placement preferences violate equal protection? Did the en banc Fifth Circuit err by affirming (via an equally divided court) the district court's judgment invalidating two of ICWA's placement preferences, 25 U.S.C. Sec. 1915(a)(3), (b)(iii), as failing to satisfy the rational-basis standard of Morton v. Mancari, 417 U.S. 535 (1974)?

History: Petition was filed on 9/3/21.

Ruling Below: Brackeen v. Bernhardt. 937 F.3d 406.

Haaland v. Brackeen
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-376

Questions Presented: Whether various provisions of ICWA--namely, the minimum standards of Section 1912(a), (d), (e), and (f); the placement-preference provisions of Section 1915(a) and (b); and the recordkeeping provisions of Sections 1915(e) and 1951(a)--violate the anticommandeering doctrine of the Tenth Amendment. Whether the individual plantiffs have Article III standing to challenge ICWA's placement preferences for "other Indian families," 25 U.S.C. 1915(a)(3), and for "Indian foster home[s]," 25 U.S.C. 1915(b)(iii). Whether Section 1915(a)(3) and (b)(iii) are rationally related to legitimate governmental interests and therefore consistent with equal protection.

History: Petition was filed on 9/3/21.

Ruling Below: Brackeen v. Bernhardt. 937 F.3d 406.

Oklahoma v. Spears
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-323

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/28/21.

Oklahoma v. Sizemore
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-326

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/27/21.

Oklahoma v. Perry
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-320

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/27/21.

Oklahoma v. Johnson
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-321

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/27/21.

Oklahoma v. Janson
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-325

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/27/21.

Oklahoma v. Harjo
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-322

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/27/21.

Oklahoma v. Grayson
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-324

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/27/21.

Oklahoma v. Ball
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-327

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/27/21.

Oklahoma v. Bain
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-319

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/27/21.

Grand River Enterprises Six Nations v. Boughton
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-279

Questions Presented: Whether Connecticut impermissibly regulates or controls conduct beyond the boundaries of the State in violation of the dormant Commerce Clause when, as a condition of allowing a manufacturer's products to be sold in the state, Connecticut forces the manufacturer to obtain and provide private sales and shipping information possessed by non-Connecticut distributors doing no business in Connecticut and having no nexus with Connecticut. Whether Connecticut violates Due Process protections when it bans a manufacturer's products from being sold in the state, if the manufacturer fails to obtain and provide to Connecticut private sales and shipping information possessed by non-Connecticut distributors relating to their distribution of products in jurisdictions other than Connecticut. Whether Connecticut violates the Supremacy Clause when, as a condition of allowing a manufacturer's products to be sold in the state, Connecticut forces the manufacturer to obtain and provide private sales and shipping information possessed by non-Connecticut distributors who conduct no business in Connecticut nor distribute the manufacturer's products to, or in, Connecticut.

History: Petition was filed on 8/23/21.

Ruling Below: Grand River Enterprises Six Nations, LTD. v. Boughton. 988 F.3d 114.

Oklahoma v. Mize
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-274

Questions Presented: Whether a State has authority to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes against Indians in Indian Country. Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/21/21.

Oklahoma v. Williams
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-265

Questions Presented: Whether a State has authority to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes against Indians in Indian Country. Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/21/21.

Oklahoma v. Starr
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-257

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/16/21.

Oklahoma v. Mitchell
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-254

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/16/21.

Oklahoma v. Kepler
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-252

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/16/21.

Oklahoma v. Jackson
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-255

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/16/21.

Oklahoma v. Howell
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-259

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/16/21.

Oklahoma v. Hathcoat
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-253

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/16/21.

Oklahoma v. Davis
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-258

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/16/21.

Oklahoma v. Brown
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-251

Questions Presented: Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/16/21.

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Cert Denied

Clay v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-237

Questions Presented: Whether the clear language of Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and the exclusive authority over federally recognized Indian Tribes granted to the Secretary of the Interior under 25 U.S.C. Sec. 2, controls the determination of how the Miccosukee Tribe compensates its members for the use of their lands, to the exclusion of any other federal agency, including the Internal Revenue Service.

History: Petition was filed on 8/13/21. Petition was denied on 10/12/21.

Ruling Below: 990 F.3d 1296.

Ledford v. Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 20-8455

Questions Presented: Do 11 men and women have the right to change a will deemed valid by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and by the State of North Carolina, resulting in that man's widow homeless? Is the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 (ICRA) only limited to cases involving Habeas Corpus? Plaintiff-Petitioner exhausted tribal remedies before seeking a jury trial in Federal Court. The EBCI violated Petitioner's due process.

History: Petition was filed on 6/25/21. Petition was denied on 10/4/21.

Ruling Below: 845 Fed.Appx. 260.

Perkins v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 20-1388

Questions Presented: The question presented is whether the United States Court of Appeals and the United States Tax Court have given "due regards" to the treaty obligations of the United States by finding these treaties had no textual support for an exemption from federal income tax applicable to an enrolled Seneca member whose income is derived from the lands of the Seneca Nation.

History: Petition was filed on 3/31/21. Petition was denied on 10/4/21.

Ruling Below: 970 F.3d 148. Perkins v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

Jamul Action Committee, et al. v. Simermeyer, et al.
Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 20-1559

Questions Presented: Whether, in 1994, Congress eliminated the distinction between "historic tribes" and "created tribes" and, thereby, eliminated the requirement that a tribe must have pre-existed the United States to have tribal immunity. Whether the JIV, which became a quarter-blood Indian group in 1996, is a federally recognized tribe, with tribal immunity, by virtue of the fact that it is still on the list of "Indian tribal entities" eligible to receive BIA services.

History: Petition was filed on 4/21/21. Petition was denied on 10/4/21.

Ruling Below: 974 F.3d 984. Jamul Action Committee v. Simermeyer.

Oklahoma v. Bosse
*Rule 46 Voluntary Dismissal


Briefs and Pleadings
Docket No. 21-186

Questions Presented: Whether a State may impose procedural or equitable bars to postconviction relief on the claim that the State lacked prosecutorial authority because the crime of conviction occurred in Indian country. Whether a State has authority to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes against Indians in Indian country. Whether McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452 (2020), should be overruled.

History: Petition was filed on 8/6/21. Petition was dismissed on 9/10/21.

Ruling Below: 484 P.3d 286. Bosse v. State of Oklahoma.

 

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