Biden's Interior Dept. Will No Longer Fight the Mashpee Wampanoag Land in Trust
February 23, 2021
WASHINGTON - What a difference a presidential administration makes. This certainly became evident on Friday when the Biden administration's Interior Department decided to withdraw its appeal in the case of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe v. Zinke. The appeal was set in motion last August by the Trump administration's Interior Department.
The Interior Department filed an appeal to Judge Paul L. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia's ruling in favor of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. The judge ruled that the Department of the Interior's 2018 decision that the tribe was not under federal jurisdiction in 1934 was "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and contrary to law."
Friedman ordered the Interior Department to maintain the reservation status of the tribe's 321 acres of land until the department issues a new decision on remand over whether the tribe qualifies as "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934.