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March 31, 2014: S. 2188 Carcieri Fix

The legislation I am introducing today is a necessary step in the process to reaffirm the Secretary’s authority to take land into trust for tribes, regardless of when they were recognized by the Federal Government. The amendment ratifies the prior trust acquisitions of the Secretary, who, for the past 75 years, has been exercising the authority to take lands into trust, as intended by the Indian Reorganization Act. Moreover, the Carcieri decision has spawned more harmful litigation, including Salazar v. Patchak, where the Supreme Court ruled that individuals have 6 years to challenge a tribe’s trust land acquisition, and Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California, where the Ninth Circuit essentially ruled that there is no time limit on challenging a tribe’s status or its trust land acquisitions.

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