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U.S. Supreme Court Issues Ruling On Madison County v. Oneida Indian Nation

Paul J. Richards, AFP, Getty Images

Oneida County, NY (WIBX) – The case of Madison County v. The Oneida Indian Nation of New York was issued another ruling by the Supreme Court today.

The Court moved to send the case back to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to address the two questions that came up during its review of the case. The Supreme Court is asking the lower court to rule on, “whether tribal sovereign immunity from suit, to the extent it should continue to be recognized, bars taxing authorities from foreclosing to collect lawfully imposed property taxes” and  “whether the ancient Oneida reservation in New York was disestablished or diminished.”

A statement from the Nation states, “The Supreme Court today accepted the Oneida Nation’s recommendation to return the tax dispute between Madison and Oneida Counties and the Nation to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.  The federal district court hearing the case has ruled that the Counties’ taxes and attempts to foreclose on the Nation’s lands are improper on a number of grounds. Those issues remain to be resolved. We are very pleased that the Supreme Court recognized the Nation’s solemn decision to waive its immunity with respect to tax foreclosures, and we look forward to resolving this long-running dispute with the Counties. The Nation’s strong preference is to resolve our differences with the Counties outside of court. The Nation has entered into government-to-government compacts with the Cities of Sherrill and Oneida to govern tax and regulatory issues, and it stands ready, as it has always stood ready, to do the same with the Counties.”

The Supreme Court is asking the lower court to address whether to revisit its ruling on sovereign immunity in light of the developments.

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