Copyright (c) 2007 Law and Inequality
Law and Inequality
ARTICLE: The Right to Be Heard in City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation: Equity and the Sound of Silence
25 Law & Ineq. 227
While recent court decisions have gone a long way toward recognizing American Indians' rights to lands from which they have been illegally dispossessed, 2 the recent Supreme Court decision in City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York 3 now threatens to inflict further injustice on not only the Oneida, but on all American Indian tribes seeking redress for historical wrongs related to their lands. 4 The case concerns properties purchased on the open market by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York (Oneida or OIN), which are located in the City of Sherrill, New York. 5 Because these parcels of property were located within their historical reservation, the Oneida refused to pay property taxes to the City of Sherrill on their newly acquired property. 6 The Oneida sought a declaration that, inter alia, the City of Sherrill could not impose property taxes on the Oneida's lands. 7 Conversely, the City of Sherrill's primary claim is that it may properly assess such taxes. 8 The United States District Court for the Northern District of New York determined that the parcels were not taxable, 9 and the city appealed. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the District Court regarding the taxation claim. 10 The case came before the Supreme Court after it granted the City of Sherrill's Petition for Writ of Certiorari. 11
The Supreme Court certified four questions for review, 12 but rested its final holding on issues not ...
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