Monday, July 06, 2015
Court Dismisses Native American Challenge To San Antonio Revitalization Efforts
In Rocha v. City of San Antonio, (WD TX, July 2, 2015), a Texas federal district court rejected a vast variety of statutory and constitutional challenges to San Antonio's redevelopment efforts at several historical sites including the Hemisfair Historical Park, Alamo Plaza, the Alamo and La Villita. Plaintiff, who claims to be a direct lineal descendant of the Yanaguana tribes, claims that the city is desecrating historical archaeological sites and Native American burial grounds. Plaintiff's original complaint, dismissed by the court in this decision, alleged that the city was violating the U.S. Constitution, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, and San Antonio’s Unified Development Code. The court also refused to permit plaintiff to amend his complaint to add free exercise claims, claims under eleven sections of the Texas Constitution, and under Title II of the federal Civil Rights Act.