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Apr 4, 2016 12:22 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Shinnecocks Ask U.S. Supreme Court To Hear Land Claim Case

Apr 5, 2016 2:54 PM

The Shinnecock Indian Nation last month asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the tribe’s claim to ownership of thousands of acres of land in Southampton Town, which was dismissed in October 2015 by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Petitioning the Supreme Court is the tribe’s last option in a legal battle to reclaim land it believes it rightfully owns. The tribe filed its original land claim more than a decade ago, in 2005, claiming that about 3,600 acres east of the Shinnecock Canal was wrongly taken from it during the 19th century. The appeal argues that New York State ignored the authority that only Congress has over Indian affairs.

The land the Shinnecocks claim encompasses much of the Shinnecock Hills region, the Stony Brook Southampton college campus and the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, as well as properties that have been privately developed.

“At its heart, this case is about American property law,” the appeal states, and whether the rights of the tribe “can be ignored and disregarded by the courts.”

The tribe further argues that its Fifth Amendment rights have been violated, specifically that its members were deprived of “life, liberty or property” without due process, as well as that their property was taken for public use and that they were not compensated.

Additionally, the tribe claims that litigation involving “real or personal property” should not have a time limit attached, according to the Indian Claims Limitations Act of 1982. The courts had previously ruled that the Nation waited too long to claim the land as its own, and that it is too late to get the land back, especially because it is now developed.

“Based on the foregoing, this case calls for an exercise of this Court’s supervisory powers to ensure adherence by the lower courts to the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings,” the appeal states.

In January, the tribe asked for an additional 60 days to appeal the U.S. Court of Appeals decision from last October, as the initial 90-day time limit had expired.

The Supreme Court gets thousands of requests to hear cases each year, but only accepts a few hundred at the most. If the Court decides against hearing the tribe’s case, the decision of the lower court will stand, dismissing the claim.

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Certainly could grow a lot of medical marijuana on that kind of acreage.
By Mouthampton (439), Southampton on Apr 5, 16 9:27 AM
The could do alot of great things with THEIR land !!! Too much as been taken from the tribe.
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Apr 6, 16 7:33 AM
Isn't there a song about this out of Australia?
"The time has come to say fair's fair, to pay the rent now, to pay our share..
The time has come, a fact's a fact

By Vikki K (490), Southampton on Apr 7, 16 6:49 PM
1 member liked this comment
Midnight Oil, "Beds Are Burning"
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Apr 7, 16 7:22 PM