Friday, July 08, 2016

Aguayo v. Hayes (9th Cir. - July 8, 2016)

There are several things that seem unseemly about this case.  Including but not limited to the one that the panel articulates at the end of its opinion; i.e., that "[i]n reaching our decision, we recognize with regret that Plaintiffs will suffer severe and significant consequences from losing their membership in the Pala Band. It is also plausible that Plaintiffs were disenrolled unjustly. . . ."

There's also the overall unseemliness, at least in my view, of retroactively deciding whether 150 people get a share of casino revenues (which is largely what's at issue here) based on multiple different determinations over a series of decades at to whether a particular person born in 1856 -- Margarita Britten -- was "was a full- or half-blooded Pala Indian."

There's still something that strikes me the wrong way about counting the "quantum" of racial blood in a particular person.

Even if, as a matter of judicial doctrine, I understand where this comes from, and also why the panel here decides the case the way it does.