The Supreme Court’s 2009 decision in Carcieri v. Salazar had severe repercussions for tribes’ abilities to make land into trust requests, as it rendered some tribes unable to make these requests due to not being under federal jurisdiction at the time of the Indian Rights Act’s passage in 1934. This is unfair, and creates a false distinction between tribes.
Federal land into trust conversions can have serious consequences for states and thus should be managed carefully. The Carcieri decision rightfully creates appropriate definitions for the tribes that are — and aren’t — eligible to restore their homelands via the Dept. of the Interior’s land into trust process.