In the Headlines
October 8, 2015

Justices May Stress Non-Tribal History In Jurisdiction Fight


The Supreme Court recently decided to review a challenge to an Eighth Circuit ruling that a Nebraska village must comply with tribal liquor license and taxing regulations. Attorney James Meggesto said Nebraska’s claim that the village’s citizens had developed “justifiable expectations” based on the understanding that they weren’t subject to the Omaha tribe’s jurisdiction may have grabbed the high court’s attention.

“The Supreme Court has used that phrase in the past to rule against tribal interests when there’s an effect on a non-Indian community, and obviously attorneys representing clients in these kinds of cases have come to rely on that,” Mr. Meggesto said. The key risk for tribes is that the high court could recalibrate the Solem test, which includes a presumption against diminishment and generally favors tribes, he said.

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