Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band Of Pottawatomi Indians v. Patchak

132 S.Ct. 2199 (2012)


The casebook was concerned only with the standing issue. The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (D) is an Indian tribe residing in rural Michigan. The Department of the Interior formally recognized it only in 1999. D petitioned the Secretary to exercise her authority under § 465 by taking into trust a tract of land in Wayland Township, Michigan, known as the Bradley Property. The Band's application explained that the Band would use the property “for gaming purposes,” with the goal of generating the “revenue necessary to promote tribal economic development, self-sufficiency and a strong tribal government capable of providing its members with sorely needed social and educational programs.” After a lengthy administrative review, the Secretary announced her decision to acquire the Bradley Property in trust for the Band. An organization called Michigan Gambling Opposition (or MichGO) filed suit alleging that the Secretary's decision violated environmental and gaming statutes. A District Court and the D.C. Circuit rejected MichGO's claims. Shortly after the D. C. Circuit ruled against MichGO (but still before the Secretary took title), P filed this suit under the APA advancing a different legal theory. P asserted that § 465 did not authorize the Secretary to acquire property for D because it was not a federally recognized tribe when the IRA was enacted in 1934. To establish his standing to bring suit, P contended that he lived “in close proximity to” the Bradley Property and that a casino there would “destroy the lifestyle he has enjoyed” by causing “increased traffic,” “increased crime,” “decreased property values,” “an irreversible change in the rural character of the area,” and “other aesthetic, socioeconomic, and environmental problems.” P did not assert any claim of his own to the Bradley Property. D intervened in the suit to defend the Secretary's decision. The District Court dismissed the suit ruling that P lacked prudential standing to challenge the acquisition. The court reasoned that the injuries P alleged fell outside § 465's “zone of interests.” The D. C. Circuit reversed. The Supreme Court certiorari.