December 2010

United States supports the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

President Barack Obama announced on December 16, 2010 that the United States would join more than 140 other countries in supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. That Declaration supports the rights of indigenous peoples to protection of their property, cultures, and religious traditions, as well as guaranteeing self-determination. A detailed statement explaining U.S. support for the Declaration is available here.

Google trespass on private road to photograph home garners $1 in damages

A couple complained about the intrusion on their private road by a Google vehicle that photographed their home for Google Streetview. All claims for invasion of privacy and mental distress were dismissed but the trespass claim remained. The Third Circuit held, in Boring v. Google Inc., 362 Fed. Appx. 273 (3d Cir. 2010), that the owners were entitle to nominal damages but not punitive damages, creating a contrast with the well-known case of...

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US Supreme Court takes cert in tribal tax foreclosure case

In City of Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York, 544 U.S. 197 (2005), the Supreme Court ruled that too much time had passed for the Oneida Indian Nation to assert sovereignty over land that was illegally taken from it by the state of New York in the early 19th century. Although the transfer of title from the tribe to the state violated the federal Trade and Intercourse Act, 25 U.S.C. ยง177, and thus was of no validity whatsoever and although...

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