US Supreme Court Docket

Supreme Court Docket


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United States v. Navajo Nation
No. 07-1410

Title:

    United States v. Navajo Nation

Subject:

Question:

    The Indian Mineral Leasing Act of 1938 (IMLA), 25 U.S.C. 396a et seq., and its
    implementing regulations authorize Indian Tribes, with the approval of the Secretary
    of the Interior, to lease tribal lands for mining purposes. In a previous decision in
    this case, United States v. Navajo Nation, 537 U.S. 488 (2003) (Navajo), this Court
    held that the Secretary’s actions in connection with Indian mineral lease
    amendments containing increased royalty rates negotiated by the Navajo Nation did
    not breach a fiduciary duty found in IMLA or other relevant statutes or regulations.
    The court of appeals held on remand that the Secretary’s conduct breached duties
    linked to sources of law that had been briefed to this Court but not expressly
    discussed in Navajo. The questions presented are:

    1. Whether the court of appeals’ holding that the United States breached fiduciary
    duties in connection with the Navajo coal lease amendments is foreclosed by
    Navajo.

    2. If Navajo did not foreclose the question, whether the court of appeals properly
    held that the United States is liable as a matter of law to the Navajo Nation for up to
    $600 million for the Secretary’s actions in connection with his approval of
    amendments to an Indian mineral lease based on several statutes that do not
    address royalty rates in tribal leases and common-law principles not embodied in a
    governing statute or regulation.

Decisions:

Resources:

  • Docket Sheet from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Briefs:

    Coming Soon
Counsel of Record

For Petitioner:

Elena Kagan
Office of the Solicitor General
Washington, DC

For Respondent:

Carter G. Phillips
Sidley Austin LLP
Washington, DC



 


 

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