Omaha Tribal Court Chief Judge Mick Scarmon ruled this month that Congress did not intend to alter the reservation boundaries when it granted the land sales in 1882. Scarmon's 44-page opinion involved a detailed review of historical documents and prior U.S. Supreme Court rulings on reservation boundary disputes involving other tribes.
"We're very happy with the decision and we think it's a correct decision," said Patricia Zieg, a member of the legal team representing the Omaha Tribal Council. During a status hearing on the case Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf said he will give deference to the tribal court ruling, Zieg said.
But the federal judge also left in place an earlier preliminary injunction that prevents the tribe from enforcing the liquor tax on bars and convenience stores in Pender, a community of 1,000 people about 90 miles northwest of Omaha. The injunction will remain in force until the federal judge decides the case.
Here is the opinion: Village of Pender v Morris — Omaha Tribal Court
The District of Nebraska previously ordered exhaustion of tribal remedies in this matter, materials here.
And here is the briefing schedule: DCT Order w Briefing Schedule.