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On Tuesday, February 24, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, originally heard in November as Carcieri v. Kempthorne. In this case, the Supreme Court considered whether the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 empowers the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian tribes that were not recognized tribes in 1934 under federal jurisdiction. In an 8-1 decision, the Court held that the 1934 Act did not so empower the Secretary of the Interior, reversing the First Circuit’s ruling. Six of the justices further held that the Narragansett Tribe specifically was not recognized under federal jurisdiction in 1934, thus holding that the Secretary did not have the authority to take the particular parcel of land at issue in this case into trust. Tom Gede, a principal in Bingham Consulting Group and of counsel to Bingham McCutchen LLP, discusses the decision.
Oral Argument - November 3, 2008:
Decision - February 24, 2009: