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  • 标题:A Regulatory Quick Fix for Carcieri v. Salazar: How the Department of Interior Can Invoke an Alternative Source of Existing Statutory Authority to Overcome an Adverse Judgment Under the Chevron Doctrine
  • 作者:Highland, Howard L.
  • 期刊名称:Administrative Law Review
  • 出版年度:2011
  • 卷号:63
  • 期号:4
  • 页码:933
  • 出版社:American University Washington College of Law
  • 摘要:At the Solicitor’s Indian Law Practitioner’s Conference on March 3, 2011, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar reiterated his desire for a “legislative fix” for the Supreme Court opinion in Carcieri v. Salazar. In Carcieri, the Court interpreted the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA) to effectuate a perverse distinction between Indian tribes under federal jurisdiction in June 1934 and Indian tribes whose relationship with the federal government was not established until after June 1934. Applying step one of the doctrine articulated in Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., which inquires “whether Congress has directly spoken to the precise question at issue,” the majority opinion of Justice Thomas declared that “the term ‘now under Federal jurisdiction’ in [the IRA] unambiguously refers to those tribes that were under the federal jurisdiction of the United States when the IRA was enacted in 1934.” As a result, § 5 of the IRA, codified at 25 U.S.C. § 465, only authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to “provid[e] land for Indians” whose tribe fits within the IRA’s definition of an “Indian,” codified at 25 U.S.C. § 479: “The term ‘Indian’ as used in this Act shall include all persons of Indian descent who are members of any recognized Indian tribe now under Federal jurisdiction.” A cloud now hangs over any land-into-trust transactions that the Secretary has made for Indian tribes which were not federally recognized until after 1934, and which are now unable to prove that their “post-1934 recognition [was granted] on grounds that implied a 1934 relationship between the tribe and Federal Government that could be described as jurisdictional.” The cries for a legislative fix began to pour out as soon as the Carcieri decision was delivered. A slew of proposed reform bills have made their way into the public discussion of federal land-into-trust policies. And yet, because the Department of the Interior’s land-into-trust acquisitions for Indian tribes are “not without passionate opposition,” Congress is wading slowly into this potentially explosive controversy. While Congress hesitates to fix Carcieri, the Secretary continues to contemplate whether to promulgate a new regulation to mitigate the decision’s harshness. Unfortunately, “a proposed regulation being considered by the Obama administration . . . is generally disfavored by tribal leadership, owing largely to the perception that a regulatory fix will delay, or even halt, progress towards a legislative remedy, which is regarded as a more permanent measure.”
  • 关键词:administrative law; Indian law
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