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Arizona v. Navajo Nation (U.S. Supreme Court, June 22, 2023): In Arizona v. Navajo Nation, the United States Supreme Court found that an 1868 treaty creating the Navaho Reservation does not explicitly require the federal government to take affirmative steps to secure water for the Navaho tribe. Read the full Opinion here. 

The 1868 treaty created the Navaho Reservation, implicitly reserving for the Tribe the right to use needed water on or below the land. As drought conditions persist in the West, the Tribe alleged that the federal government breached its trust obligations under the treaty by not assisting the Tribe with gaining access to the water present on or below the lands. The Court found that while the treaty gave rights to the water, it did not impose an affirmative obligation on the federal government to identify new water sources or means of accessing water. Read the full Opinion here. 

View all cases in Judicial Trends and Public Health – August 15, 2023

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