Tenney Comments On Supreme Court Decision To Send Oneida Indian Nation Case Back To Court Of Appeals
A Statement from Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R,C,I-New Hartford)
January 11, 2011
I am surprised by the United States Supreme Court’s decision to vacate the judgment of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and remand the case back to the lower court in order to readdress the foreclosure of Oneida Indian Nation-owned (OIN) property as a means of collecting on default taxes due. This is because the Nation’s last-minute waiver of its claimed “sovereign immunity” is nothing more than a litigation tactic calculated to delay the final outcome on this issue. Extensive court briefs were filed by the parties and an oral argument was set before the Supreme Court next month in order to determine the legitimacy of the “sovereign immunity” claim, and whether any of the Oneida’s ancient reservation was disestablished or diminished. Using this 11th hour gimmick demonstrates that the OIN is willing to use this claim of sovereign immunity when it suits them. In this case, it is to delay a much-needed final determination for all parties. Since the OIN has waived its “sovereign immunity” it should now pay all back taxes owed to the governing authorities and save everyone the continued cost of litigation.