Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Court Says Tribe Has Standing, But Did Not Prove Its RFRA Claim

As previously reported, in March an Oregon federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing a RFRA challenge to the destruction of sacred Native American burial grounds.  In reviewing the magistrate's recommendation, the district court in Slockish v. U.S. Federal Highway Administration, (D OR, June 11, 2018) held, disagreeing with the magistrate judge, that plaintiffs have standing to bring the challenge.  However the court still held that the RFRA claim should be dismissed because plaintiffs had not established a prima facie case of a substantial burden on their religious exercise.  Reporting on the decision, KUOW News says that members of the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation and members of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde will appeal to the 9th Circuit.