Court rules for state in American Indian land case - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Court rules for state in American Indian land case

Providence_The U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday limited the Federal Government's authority to hold land in trust for Indian tribes.

The ruling is a victory for states wanting to impose local laws and control over development on Indian lands.  The U.S. Government argued that the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act allows it to take land into trust for tribes regardless of when they were recognized.

But the court said the law refers only to tribes that were under federal jurisdiction when it was enacted in 1934.  The ruling comes in a case involving the Rhode Island-based Narragansett Indian Tribe and a 31-acre tract of land that the tribe bought.

At issue was whether the land should be subject to state law, including a prohibition on casino gambling, or whether it should be governed by tribal and federal law.  The ruling subjects the land to state law.

Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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