Petitions of the week: CARES Act funds for Alaska Natives, courts in church-property disputes, Miranda warnings and extra

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Petitions of the week: CARES Act payments for Alaska Natives, courts in church-property disputes, Miranda warnings and more

Posted on Friday, November 20th, 2020 at 1:54 pm by Andrew Hamm

This week we’re highlighting certification filings asking the Supreme Court, among other things, to review whether Alaska-based companies are “Native American tribes” eligible for payments under the CARES Act, whether courts should postpone or rule disputes over church property and how explicitly police officers must insist on denying a suspect their right to a lawyer before and during the interrogations under Miranda v. Declare Arizona.

In the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, Congress established a different relationship with the Alaska Natives than with the Indians in the lower 48 states. The ANCSA had reservations and mandated the establishment of “regional corporations” and “village corporations” to manage indigenous territories, administer settlement funds, and act on behalf of the Alaskan Indians. Fast forward to the Coronavirus Aid, Aid and Economic Security Act, in which Congress instructed the Treasury Secretary to provide $ 8 billion in aid to the governing bodies of the “Indian tribes” as defined by the Indian Self-Determination and Assistance Act Education to pay off. For purposes of this Act, “Native American Tribe” is defined as an “Native American tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including an Alaska-based village or regional or rural society” that is eligible for the specific programs offered by the United States Services recognized is recognized by States to Indians because of their Indian status. “

In April 2020, several tribes sued the Treasury Secretary to prevent payments to Alaska Native companies. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed that the companies are not eligible for payments under the CARES Act because these groups are not “Native American tribes.” In the view of the DC Circuit, the definition above meant that only Alaska Native companies that are officially recognized are considered to be Native American tribes. However, the DC Circuit went on to say that recognition is a “legal art form” in Indian law and that companies have never been recognized in this formal sense. Petitions from the Treasury Secretary (Mnuchin v. Chehalis Reservation Confederate Tribes) and Alaska Native Corporations (Alaska Native Village Corporation Association v. Chehalis Reservation Confederate Tribes) are asking the judges to review this decision. The petitions argued, among other things, that the reading of the DC Circuit is contrary to the intentions of Congress in the CARES Act and to decisions by the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which hears the majority of Alaska Native cases.

Three petitions present opposing allegations to judges regarding the role of courts in ecclesiastical disputes. In the 1871 Watson v Jones case, the Supreme Court asked for attention to be paid to the way church bodies have resolved disputes over church property. In 1979, however, the Jones v Wolf Supreme Court allowed the courts to use “neutral laws” to resolve such matters, although the courts could still defer it. Petitions at All Saints’ Episcopal Church (Fort Worth) against the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and Episcopal Church against the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth urge judges to review a decision by the Texas Supreme Court that avoids respecting and introduce stronger protection of the first change. In contrast, the Schulz v Seattle Presbytery petition calls on judges to review a decision by the Washington Court of Appeals that elected respect and demand that the courts apply neutral principles.

Miranda v. Arizona is known to require the police to inform a suspect of the right to a lawyer before starting an interrogation. In Michigan v Mathews, police informed murder suspect Laricca Mathews of her right to a lawyer in general, but did not specifically state that she was entitled to have a lawyer present during questioning. Mathews then admitted shooting her boyfriend. The trial, upheld by the Michigan Court of Appeals, suppressed Mathews’ statements on the grounds that the warning was flawed. In its petition, Michigan is asking judges to review the decision as state and state courts are divided over whether a general warning will satisfy Miranda.

These and other petitions of the week are listed below:

Schulz v. Seattle Presbytery
20-261
problem: Whether in a dispute between a local church and its previous denomination over ownership of property to which the local church has the right, the first amendment will allow the courts to apply a rule of absolute respect for denominational property rights.

All Saints’ Episcopal Church (Fort Worth) versus Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
20-534
problem: Whether the decision of the Texas Supreme Court to award the petitioner’s sanctuary and parsonage All Saints’ Episcopal Church (Fort Worth) to a dissident faction in violation of the will of the petitioner’s parishioners and an express vote of confidence in accordance with the free exercise stands and establishment clauses.

Episcopal Church versus Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
20-536
Problems: (1) Whether after the initial amendment, the courts are required to enforce explicit trusts in ecclesiastical documents (as some jurisdictions apply in accordance with Jones v. Wolf’s First Protection) or whether state law may make such trusts unenforceable (as others apply ); (2) Whether the first amendment requires courts to postpone churches on matters of policy (as some jurisdictions apply in line with Jones’ second protection) or whether courts can use state law to determine the structure of a church (as do others to do this) ); and (3) whether the neutral principles approach can be constitutionally used – either prospectively or retrospectively – to resolve disputes over church property.

Mnuchin against Confederate tribes of the Chehalis reservation
20-543
problem: Whether regional and village Alaska Native companies founded under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, “Indian Tribe[s]”For the purposes of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Alaska Native Village Corporation Association against Confederate Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation
20-544
problem: Whether Alaska-based regional and village companies are “Native American tribes” under India’s Self-Determination and Education Act and are therefore eligible for emergency funds under Title V of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Michigan v. Mathews
20-546
problem: Whether Miranda v Arizona is satisfied when a suspect in custody is informed at the beginning of an interrogation that he has the right to a lawyer but is not specifically advised that he is entitled to have the lawyer present before and during the Has interrogation.

Posted in Schulz v Seattle Presbytery, All Saints’ Episcopal Church (Fort Worth) v Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, Episcopal Church v Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, Mnuchin v Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, Alaska Native Village Corporation Association v Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, Michigan v Mathews, Featured, Cases in the Pipeline

Recommended citation:
Andrew Hamm, Petitions of the Week: CARES Act Payments for Alaska Natives, Courts in Disputes Over Church Property, Alerts from Miranda, and More,
SCOTUSblog (November 20, 2020, 1:54 p.m.), https://www.scotusblog.com/2020/11/petitions-of-the-week-cares-act-payments-for-alaska-natives-courts-in – Church ownership-disputes-Miranda-warnings-and-more /