Narragansetts Edge Closer to “Carcieri Fix”

The Narragansett Indians won a victory late Wednesday when the House of Representatives voted to undo a 2009 Supreme Court ruling that denied federal trust status to a 31-acre parcel of land the tribe owns. The Narragansetts, like other tribes that were federally recognized after 1934, have not been able to take federally purchased land into trust, which grants the tribe sovereign rule on the land. Dubbed the “Carcieri fix” because it solves the problems of the 2009 Carcieri v. Salazar case, it has met opposition from Rhode Islanders who fear the Narragansetts will use the lands for gaming — a charge the tribe has repeatedly denied. The measure now goes to the Senate; if it not passed before this Congress ends, it will need to be re-introduced in the House next year.

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