…of access to tribally unaffiliated Indian antiquities and remains, now endangered by new regulations from the Department of the Interior [Robert L. Kelly, New York Times] Earlier on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) and Kennewick Man controversy here, here, etc.
- Will they get group discounts on lawyers? Groupon vs. MobGob patent brawl [TechCrunch]
- Why American courts should sometimes recognize Islamic law [series of Eugene Volokh posts]
- No, it’s not a “public health issue”: “The Case Against Motorcycle Helmet Laws” [Steve Chapman, syndicated/RCP]
- Failed system of justice on some Indian reservations [McClelland, Mother Jones]
- Ten years ago: Morgan Lewis & Bockius handed mlb.com domain over to its client Major League Baseball [Ross Davies, SSRN]
- City of Boston adds insult to injury after employee runs into building [TJIC, Popehat]
- Citing fans’ drug use, feds seek forfeiture of farm used for Grateful Dead tribute concerts [Greenfield]
- Johann Sebastian Bach, serial copyright violator [Cavanaugh, Reason]
- “Appeals court dismisses Oneida Indians’ 40-year-old land claim” [Syracuse Post-Standard; Howard Bashman links to more coverage including opinion; much more on the case in my forthcoming book]
- When blogging, careful about using the sort of hypotheticals common in law school discussion [Kerr]
- Beacon, N.Y.: Retro Arcade Museum falls victim to retro town ordinance banning pinball [NYT]
- Prosecutor suspended from law practice over misconduct, which almost never happens [Greenfield]
- George Mason U. Law & Econ Center unveils new website;
- On Polinsky and Shavell’s “The Uneasy Case for Product Liability” [Beck, Drug & Device Law]
- What did other defendants pay? “Company wants look at asbestos bankruptcy trust payments” [LNL, Maryland]
- Measuring tape? The many items you’re not allowed to bring into Detroit’s City Hall [Amy Alkon]
The historic town of Mauch Chunk, Pa. changed its name to Jim Thorpe, Pa. as part of a deal to honor the Native American-descended athlete. Now a lawsuit is invoking the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA) to demand removal of Thorpe’s remains to Oklahoma [Never Yet Melted]
Meanwhile, scientists, universities and museums are considering their legal options in the face of new Interior Department interpretations of NAGPRA mandating “that after appropriate tribal consultation, transfer of culturally unidentifiable remains is to be made to a tribe from whose tribal or aboriginal lands the remains were excavated or removed.” [Indian Country Today, April; earlier posts on Kennewick Man controversy]
Keith Harper, now with Kilpatrick Stockton, is a longtime Native American Rights Fund attorney and class counsel in the gigantic Indian trust fund litigation, Cobell. Some critics focus on his prospective appointment for an “Oklahoma seat” on the court, others are not happy with developments in Cobell. [Tulsa World, Kimberly Craven/Billings Gazette]
According to news reports in recent days, some members of Iroquois Indian tribes are claiming a right to travel internationally on tribal “passports”, and U.S. officials — including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at the request of upstate Rep. Louise Slaughter and other New York politicos — have leaned over backwards to let them do so. As I relate in my forthcoming book, some Indian tribes in the U.S. have been getting louder in asserting that they have the rights and perquisites of actual state sovereignty — something U.S. Supreme Court precedent makes very clear they do not have — and have been invoking international human rights law, and its precepts in defense of the rights of indigenous peoples, in support of those vain claims. That seems to be going on to some extent here too.
The State Department has long accepted some casual use of tribal “passports” given a number of tribes’ geographic sprawl across the U.S.-Canada border (where until recently the paperwork burdens for travelers were minimal anyway). If it is now beginning to play along with bogus assertions of a right to use Indian passports in travel around the world, that would be big news. Let’s hope that’s not what the new reports mean.
Following thirty years of battles, the Obama Administration signaled that it would extend federal recognition to the Shinnecock tribe. Of particular interest: “The tribe is also hoping to resolve more than $1 billion worth of land disputes in the Hamptons, including its claim to the site of the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, which has played host to the U.S. Open several times.” [NYT] Backed by casino promoters, the tribe filed a massive land claim in 2005 which I wrote about at the time in the NYT; a federal judge rejected the case the next year, following a turn against Indian land claims at the Second Circuit level.
Missed from earlier this year: in the fall of 2007, following extensive litigation, the government of Canada began issuing payments to persons of Indian ancestry who had attended an officially promoted network of residential schools where abuse was common and whose aim of assimilating students into broader Canadian life was later assailed as calculated to suppress native culture. While the payments brought benefit to many recipients, among others they seem to have led to new cycles of dysfunction, family strife and substance abuse. [Jack Branswell and Ken Meaney, “Native suicides linked to compensation”, Canwest/National Post, Jan. 26 via Western Standard]