HIGHLIGHTS:

  • President Obama nominated Merrick Garland on March 16, 2016, to be an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Garland now serves as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
  • While Garland has not been the lead author of any court opinions directly impacting Indian Country, he has joined the majority panel opinion on several of these cases.

President Obama nominated Merrick Garland on March 16, 2016, to be an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Garland now serves as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Despite 19 years on the bench, Garland has not personally authored any of the opinions directly impacting Indian Country. He has, however, joined the majority in each of the Indian law cases listed below.

Most significantly, he was on the appeals court panel that issued the adverse decision in San Manuel Indian Bingo v. NLRB, which held that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) applied to tribal gaming enterprises despite their governmental nature. In the years since the San Manuel decision, tribes have fought in Congress to reverse that decision. Garland's support for the San Manuel decision could have an impact on the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe and Little River Band, both of which have filed petitions seeking Supreme Court review of similarly adverse decisions that apply the NLRA to their governmental gaming operations.

Listed below are some Indian law cases in which Garland joined the majority panel's opinion.

Garland Track Record In Indian Country

Click here to view table.