In a petition under the Administrative Procedure Act challenging the Department of the Interior's determination not to acknowledge the "tribal existence" of a purported Indian tribal nation, summary judgment for defendants is affirmed where: 1) the evidence presented by the tribe was insufficient to raise a claim of "improper political influence" under the standard set forth in Town of Orangetown v. Ruckelshaus, 740 F.2d 185 (2d Cir. 1984); and 2) the Department's determination did not violate the Vacancies Reform Act.
Argued: October 8, 2009
Decided: October 19, 2009
John B. Hughes, Assistant United States Attorney, District of Connecticut, Hartford, CT