LAW & TREATY RIGHTS

Bay Mills Tribe Demands Contested Case For Pipeline Rehab

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 13, 2020 - 5:10pm
A major Canadian energy company should not be able to construct a pipeline under waters connecting Lake Michigan and Lake Huron without a contested case before the Michigan Public Service Commission, the Bay Mills Indian Community said Wednesday.

Tribes Fight Bid To Squelch Suit Over Well Permits

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 13, 2020 - 5:00pm
The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation on Tuesday asked a North Dakota federal judge to reject the U.S. Department of the Interior's bid to uphold agency approvals for a drilling site on tribal land, saying the tribe can regulate conduct that threatens it.

State AGs Sue EPA Over COVID-19 Enforcement Policy

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 13, 2020 - 4:33pm
Nine states' attorneys general sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday in New York federal court over its new policy curtailing enforcement of clean air and water rules during the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it encourages industrial pollution as people with respiratory and cardiovascular problems are getting sick.

Lawmakers Want Broadband Holes Fixed Fast Amid Pandemic

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 13, 2020 - 3:02pm
Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and broadband providers must act fast amid the COVID-19 outbreak to identify holes in high-speed coverage and then spend the necessary funds and cut red tape to fill the gaps, senators from both sides of the aisle said during a committee hearing Wednesday.

8 Tips For Retaining An Expert During COVID-19 And Beyond

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 13, 2020 - 1:27pm
Caroline Crump at Exponent and Natalie Baker Reis at Medical Research Consultants outline some strategies for creating a successful attorney-expert team, including unique considerations for pandemic-related closures and economic uncertainties.

Tribe Says Virus Crippled Ability To Fight Casino Loan Suit

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 13, 2020 - 1:02pm
A Native American tribe told a New York state judge Wednesday that because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown of its California casino, it can't afford to litigate a suit over a $250 million Wells Fargo loan.

Gorsuch Set To Swing Tribal Boundary Case, If Liberals Stick

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 12, 2020 - 6:01pm
Justice Neil Gorsuch showed signs that he could provide a pivotal vote in favor of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation's claims to still have a reservation during U.S. Supreme Court arguments this week, but only if some of the court's more liberal justices aren't swayed away from the tribe's position by concerns about Oklahoma losing criminal jurisdiction in the eastern part of the state.

House Dems Unveil Sweeping $3T Virus Relief Bill

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 12, 2020 - 5:39pm
Speaker Nancy Pelosi released House Democrats' sweeping $3 trillion proposal for the next coronavirus relief package on Tuesday, a move that kickstarts negotiations by identifying Democratic priorities ranging from state and local aid to workplace safety standards and health insurance enrollment.

IHS Tells DC Circ. Tribe Isn't Owed More Health Contract Costs

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 12, 2020 - 5:22pm
The Indian Health Service has urged the D.C. Circuit to reject the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community's bid to overturn a dismissal of the tribe's suit against the agency over contract support costs, saying the IHS doesn't have to pay for services a contractor provides using non-IHS funds.

Mass. Tribe Says DOI Illegally Swapped In Land-Into-Trust Test

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 12, 2020 - 2:23pm
A Massachusetts tribe has urged a D.C. federal court to ignore the U.S. government's interpretation of an Obama-era standard for determining when a tribe qualifies to have land taken into trust, saying a new standard based on the old one seeks to hinder its planned casino.

BIA Official Under Investigation For Pandemic Fund Allocation

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 12, 2020 - 2:22pm
A federal watchdog told U.S. senators that it would investigate tribal governments' claims that Tara Sweeney, the assistant secretary for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, failed to follow ethics laws when deciding on the distribution of COVID-19 tribal stimulus funds.

What It's Like To Move From Army JAG To BigLaw

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 12, 2020 - 2:05pm
Lawyers who have served in the U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps can provide tremendous value to law firms, but the transition to firm life has its challenges, says former JAG attorney Vinnie Lichvar, now at Snell & Wilmer.

Wage Woes Surface As Tribal Casinos Receive Virus Loans

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 12, 2020 - 2:05pm
Small tribal casinos have begun to receive funds through the federal Paycheck Protection Program for coronavirus relief, boosting eventual reopening efforts but exposing the low wages of some of their workers, who got higher weekly pay from unemployment assistance than they do at their jobs. 

Nationwide Water Permit Ban Limited To New Pipelines

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 12, 2020 - 1:04pm
A Montana federal judge on Monday said the federal government can't use a recently vacated nationwide water permit for new pipelines while it appeals his ruling to the Ninth Circuit, but said the permit remains valid for nonpipeline construction activities and work on permitted infrastructure projects.

Treasury Buys Time To Send More COVID-19 Funds To Tribes

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 11, 2020 - 5:52pm
A D.C. federal judge on Monday rejected a bid to force the Treasury Department to deliver $3.2 billion it still owes tribal governments to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, but said a further delay of two months "will not be acceptable" and one month past a lapsed deadline might be pushing it.

7th Circ. Rejects Tribe In Clean Water Rehearing Request

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 11, 2020 - 5:51pm
The Seventh Circuit has shot down the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin's request that it reconsider a ruling that blocked the tribe from challenging the federal government's delegation of water permitting authority to Michigan.

Justices Weigh Novelty Of Okla. Tribal Reservation Case

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 11, 2020 - 3:36pm
The U.S. Supreme Court appeared divided Monday over whether the Muscogee (Creek) Nation's claims that its eastern Oklahoma reservation still exists and is subject to federal criminal jurisdiction should be handled differently from other reservation boundary cases that have gone tribes' way at the high court.

How Law Firms Can Maximize COVID-19 Insurance Coverage

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 11, 2020 - 2:09pm
Law firms struggling due to the pandemic should identify relevant insurance policies and provisions, be mindful of notice requirements that could interfere with coverage, and push back against policy exclusions, say Robin Cohen and James Smith at McKool Smith.

Unvetted DOI Leaders Should Be Ousted, Groups Say

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 11, 2020 - 2:04pm
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on Monday sued the U.S. Department of the Interior in D.C. federal court, accusing it of unlawfully allowing two men to serve in leadership roles for extended periods of time despite their never having been confirmed by the Senate.

Justices' Maui Test Bodes Well For Trump's Water Rule

LAW360 (Native feed) - May 11, 2020 - 12:54pm
The test for Clean Water Act discharge permitting established by the U.S. Supreme Court's recent County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund decision is consistent with the court's 2006 Rapanos ruling — which could help the Trump administration beat back challenges to its new Navigable Waters Protection Rule, say Andrew Bell and Zachary Kearns at The Law Office of Andrew C. Bell.

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