Effective September 1, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives, Office of the Law Revision Counsel reorganized portions of Title 25 “Indians” of the United States Code (“U.S.C.”) by reclassifying and renumbering certain sections, including the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act (“IRA”). These changes can be found in the official online version of the Code, with changes to be made in the print version by publication of supplement IV to the 2012 edition.

Reclassifying and Renumbering

According to the Office of the Law Revision Counsel, this reclassification and renumbering means some sections were transferred and renumbered, thereby requiring parallel changes in citations by practitioners. No amendments or repeals of statutory provisions have occurred, although some obsolete provisions have been omitted.

Of particular interest to many Indian law practitioners, the IRA has been reclassified to Chapter 45 of Title 25, beginning with section 5101. Among its other provisions that have been reclassified and renumbered, citations to the following provisions have changed:

a) the general authority of the Secretary of the Interior to acquire land into trust for tribes and individual Indians, formerly found in 25 U.S.C. § 465, is now located in 25 U.S.C. § 5108;

b) the organization of tribes under IRA constitutions (Section 16 in the original IRA bill), formerly found in 25 U.S.C. § 476, is now located in 25 U.S.C. § 5123;

c) the issuance of federal charters for tribal corporations (Section 17 in the original IRA bill), formerly found in 25 U.S.C. § 477, is now located in 25 U.S.C. § 5124; and

d) the definitions of “Indian” and “tribe” as used in the IRA, formerly found in 25 U.S.C. § 479, are now located in 25 U.S.C. § 5129.

Where to Find More Information

Not all sections within Title 25 have been reclassified and renumbered. It is therefore imperative that practitioners confirm any renumbering or other disposition of cited laws. To view the Disposition Table showing the new classification or other disposition of former sections in Title 25, please see the U.S.C. Editorial Reclassification Table. Alternatively, the Disposition Table, followed by the renumbered sections still found within Title 25 as reclassified and laid out in their entirety with accompanying notes, can be found here.

As of the date of this posting, online searches in either Westlaw or LexisNexis for the former citation to a renumbered section in Title 25 will return a notice indicating that the section has been transferred and where it is now found. However, the user will not be redirected to it automatically. To view the Office of Law Revision Counsel’s statement on reclassification of sections within Title 25, including the effective date, please see Editorial Reclassification - Title 25, U.S.C.

For those working in other areas, editorial reclassification efforts also have recently occurred as to Titles 2, 20, 50, 50 Appendix, and 52 of the U.S. Code. To view the Office of Law Revision Counsel statement on all of its recent reclassification projects, with links to the reclassified titles, please see U.S.C. Editorial Reclassification Background.