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Patchak v. Zinke

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
16-498 D.C. Cir. Nov 7, 2017
Tr.Aud.
Feb 27, 2018 6-3 Thomas OT 2017

Holding: David Patchak filed suit challenging the authority of the secretary of the Interior Department to take into trust a property (Bradley Property) on which Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians wished to build a casino. In an earlier appeal in the case, the Supreme Court held that the secretary lacked sovereign immunity and that Patchak had standing, and it remanded the case for further proceedings. Congress subsequently enacted the Gun Lake Act, which “reaffirmed as trust land” the Bradley Property, Section 2(a), and provided that “an action . . . relating to [that] land shall not be filed or maintained in a Federal court and shall be promptly dismissed,” Section 2(b). The court of appeals properly affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Patchak’s lawsuit pursuant to that statute.

Judgment: Affirmed, 6-3, in an opinion by Justice Thomas on February 27, 2018. Justice Thomas, joined by Justices Breyer, Alito and Kagan, concluded that Section 2(b) of the Gun Lake Act does not violate Article III of the Constitution. Justice Breyer filed a concurring opinion. Justice Ginsburg filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Justice Sotomayor joined, concluding that Congress acted effectively to displace the Administrative Procedure Act’s waiver of immunity for suits against the United States — which enabled Patchak to launch this litigation — with a contrary command applicable to the Bradley Property. Justice Sotomayor filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, concluding that that Section 2(b) of the Gun Lake Act is most naturally read as having restored the Federal Government’s sovereign immunity from Patchak’s suit challenging the trust status of the Bradley Property. Chief Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion, in which Justices Kennedy and Gorsuch joined.

SCOTUSblog Coverage

DateProceedings and Orders
Oct 11 2016Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due November 14, 2016)
Nov 11 2016Brief of respondent Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish band of Pottawatomi Indians in opposition filed.
Nov 14 2016Waiver of right of respondent Sally Jewel, Secretary of the Interior, et al. to respond filed.
Nov 14 2016Motion for leave to file amici brief filed by Federal Courts Scholars.
Nov 28 2016Opposition of intervenor-respondent Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, to motion for leave to file amicus curiae brief of Federal Courts Scholars filed.
Nov 30 2016DISTRIBUTED for Conference of January 6, 2017.
Dec 15 2016Response Requested. (Due January 17, 2017)
Jan 12 2017Order extending time to file response to petition to and including February 16, 2017.
Feb 15 2017Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including March 20, 2017.
Mar 20 2017Brief of Federal Respondents in opposition filed.
Apr 03 2017Reply of petitioner David Patchak filed.
Apr 05 2017DISTRIBUTED for Conference of April 21, 2017.
Apr 24 2017DISTRIBUTED for Conference of April 28, 2017.
May 01 2017Motion for leave to file amici brief filed by Federal Courts Scholars GRANTED.
May 01 2017Petition GRANTED limited to Question 1 presented by the petition.
May 16 2017The time to file the joint appendix and petitioner's brief on the merits is extended to and including July 13, 2017.
May 16 2017The time to file respondents' briefs on the merits is extended to and including September 11, 2017.
Jul 12 2017Joint appendix filed. (Statement of costs filed)
Jul 12 2017Brief of petitioner David Patchak filed.
Jul 19 2017Brief amici curiae of Federal Courts Scholars filed.
Aug 31 2017SET FOR ARGUMENT on Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Sep 07 2017CIRCULATED
Sep 11 2017Brief of respondent Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians filed. (Distributed)
Sep 11 2017Brief of Federal Respondents filed. (Distributed)
Sep 12 2017Record requested from the U.S.C.A. District of Columbia Circuit.
Sep 15 2017Blanket Consent filed by Respondent, Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians on 09/15/2017
Sep 18 2017Brief amici curiae of Wayland Township, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Sep 18 2017Brief amicus curiae of U.S. House of Representatives filed. (Distributed)
Sep 18 2017Brief amicus curiae of National Congress of American Indians filed. (Distributed)
Sep 18 2017Brief amici curiae of Federal Courts and Federal Indian Law Scholars filed. (Distributed)
Sep 18 2017Brief amicus curiae of Professor Edward A. Hartnett filed. (Distributed)
Sep 18 2017Motion for divided argument filed by respondent.
Oct 10 2017Motion for divided argument filed by respondent GRANTED.
Oct 11 2017Reply of petitioner David Patchak filed. (Distributed)
Nov 07 2017Argued. For petitioner: Scott E. Gant, Washington, D. C. For federal respondents: Ann O'Connell, Assistant to the Solicitor General, Department of Justice, Washington, D. C. For Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians respondent: Pratik A. Shah, Washington, D. C.
Feb 27 2018Adjudged to be AFFIRMED. Thomas, J., announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion, in which Breyer, Alito, and Kagan, JJ., joined. Breyer, J., filed a concurring opinion. Ginsburg, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which Sotomayor, J., joined. Sotomayor, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. Roberts, C. J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Kennedy and Gorsuch, JJ., joined.
Apr 02 2018JUDGMENT ISSUED.
 
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