Indiana: Miami Indian tribe denied recognition
The Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana is not a tribe and the federal government does not have to recognize it, a federal appeals court has ruled.
"Probably by 1940 and certainly by 1992, the Miami Nation had ceased to be a tribe in any reasonable sense," a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals said in a ruling issued June 15.
"It had no structure. It was a group of people united by nothing more than common descent, with no territory, no significant governance and only the loosest of social ties."
Arlinda Locklear, a Jefferson, Md., attorney representing the Miami Nation, said Friday the group plans to appeal. An 1840 federal treaty called for the removal of the Miamis from Indiana. Soldiers were sent to force them out in 1846, and they were moved to Kansas and then to Oklahoma. Today, Miami, Okla., is the seat of the Miami Indians of Oklahoma, which has federal recognition.
SAN FRANCISCO: Judge blocks plan for offshore oil drilling
A federal judge ruled Friday that the ocean off the coast of central California can't be explored for new deposits of oil and gas until the federal government studies potential environmental impacts and the state approves the plan. The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken was a blow to petroleum companies watching oil and gas prices near all-time highs as California struggles through an energy crisis.
At issue is an amount of oil that could be enough to run California's refineries for two years and fuel five months' worth of the state's natural gas demands. Environmentalists praised the ruling, which affects some of the state's most scenic coastline in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties north of Los Angeles.