U.S. v. KING MOUNTAIN TOBACCO

Excerpts and Comments from Joseph J. Heath:

FACTS: Tobacco company, owned by a Yakima Nation citizen, makes cigarettes using 54 % tobacco that is grown on allotted nation land, held in trust by US. The 9 th Circuit affirmed the District Court holding that federal excise taxes still applied to these tobacco products.

DIRECT QUOTES FROM 9th CIRCUIT DECISION:

“After all, the federal government enjoys plenary and exclusive power over Indian tribes. Bryan v. Itasca County, 426 U.S. 373, 376 n. 2 (1976). And ‘[t]he right to tribal self-government is ultimately dependent on and subject to the broad power of Congress.’ White Mountain Apache Tribe v. Bracker, 448 U.S. 136, 143 (1980).” [p. 11.]…

“The objectives of allotment1 were simple: to extinguish tribal sovereignty, erase reservation boundaries, and force the assimilation of Indians into society at large. See, e.g., In re Heff, 197 U.S. 488, 499 (1905); Blackfeet Tribe of Indians v. Montana , 729 F. 2d 1192, 1195 (9th Cir. 1984) (en banc) (0bserving that the ‘primary purpose’ of allotment was the ‘speedy assimilation of the Indians’), aff’d, 471 U.S. 759 (1985). [pp. 12 & 13]

 

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1. Here the Circuit is discussing the General Allotment Act of 1887, 24 Stat. 388.