Case Summary Citation

Big Lagoon Rancheria v. State of California, Nos. 10-17803, 10-17878, ___ F. 3d ___, 2015 WL 3499884, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9312 (9th Cir. June 4, 2015) (en banc)


The Ninth Circuit’s en banc opinion in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California is, thus far, perhaps the most important Indian law decision in 2015. Rejecting its three-judge panel’s opinion, the Ninth Circuit, en banc, affirmed the importance of defending tribal sovereignty against invidious state actions. The court denounced California’s use of Carcieri to de-recognize the Big Lagoon Rancheria and rescind the trust status of its land, characterizing it as “a belated collateral attack” on the Tribe and an “end-run” around the APA.

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