Oneida Nation wins on appeal, Madison and Cayuga counties can't foreclose on land to collect taxes
By Glenn Coin / The Post-Standard
April 27, 2010, 1:31PM
The Oneida Indian Nation scored a major legal victory today when a federal appeals court ruled that Oneida and Madison counties cannot foreclose on nation land to collect taxes.
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Oneida nation is immune from lawsuit. A tribe can't be taken to court unless Congress specifically allows it, the appeals court said.
The 31-page decision concedes that the U.S. Supreme Court in 2005 found that the Oneidas cannot claim sovereignty on land they have bought in the past few decades. Appeals judges noted, however, that the sovereignty a tribe has over its land and its sovereignty against being taken to court are two different things.
The ruling leaves the counties without their ultimate means of enforcing tax collection.Lawyers argued the case in 2006.