Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government

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Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued December 10, 1997
Decided February 25, 1998
Full case name Alaska, Petitioner v. Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government, et al.
Citations 522 U.S. 520 (more)
118 S. Ct. 948; 140 L. Ed. 2d 30; 1998 U.S. LEXIS 1449; 66 U.S.L.W. 4145; 98 Cal. Daily Op. Service 1335; 98 Daily Journal DAR 1839; 11 Fla. L. Weekly S 337; 1998 Colo. J. C.A.R. 891; 11 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 337
Prior history 101 F.3d 1286 (9th Cir. 1996), reversed
Subsequent history None
Court membership
Chief Justice
William Rehnquist
Associate Justices
John P. Stevens · Sandra Day O'Connor
Antonin Scalia · Anthony Kennedy
David Souter · Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg · Stephen Breyer
Case opinions
Majority Thomas, joined by unanimous

Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government, 522 U.S. 520 (1998), was a United States Supreme Court case. The local tribal council in Venetie, Alaska, wanted to collect tax from non-tribal members doing business on tribal lands. The Supreme Court granted certiorari on appeal from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which had ruled in the tribe's favor, saying they occupied Indian Country.

The Court decided unanimously that the land was not the tribe's land subject to the tribal tax, even though it was owned by the tribe, because it was not part of a Native American reservation. Because all but one reservation in Alaska (the Annette Island reservation of the Tsimshian) had been eliminated by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, the decision had the practical effect of prohibiting almost all Indian tribes in Alaska from collecting taxes for activities conducted on tribal land. Taxing authority is reserved as a right of the states and federal government.

The State of Alaska, the petitioner, was represented by John G. Roberts, who later became the Chief Justice of the United States. The respondent was represented by Heather Kendall-Miller, an attorney of Athabascan descent.

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