U.S. Joins Cayugas In Seeking Supreme Court Review

The federal government is joining the Cayuga Indians in seeking a Supreme Court review of last years’ dismissal of the Cayugas’ land claim. An Indian law expert tells the Syracuse Post Standard in today’s editions that having the federal government on their side could bolster the Cayugas’ attempt to have the top court overrule last year’s Circuit Court of Appeals decision that went against the tribe. Last June, the federal appeals court dismissed the Cayuga land claim. It ruled the New York Cayugas and Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma had waited too long to reclaim some 64-thousand acres of ancestral homeland around the north end of Cayuga Lake. The court also overturned the 248 (m) million dollar judgment awarded to both tribes in 2001, which they had hoped to use to leverage lucrative casino deals with the state. The Supreme Court only hears about 1 in every 100 appeals brought before it. Officials in Cayuga and Seneca counties weren’t surprised by the Justice Department joining the Cayugas in asking for the review. They doubt the significance of the move since the federal government has sided with the tribe throughout the 25-year dispute.


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