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Makah Indian Tribe v. Verity

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
910 F.2d 555 (1990)


The Makah Indian Tribe (Makah) (plaintiff) and 23 other Indian tribes are guaranteed fishing rights by federal treaty. The federal government regulates ocean fishing under the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976 (FCMA). The FCMA creates a regulatory process by which the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) issues regulations setting forth fishing quotas. The regulations are subject to judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The Makah sued, challenging the quotas set by the Secretary’s 1987 regulations as violating their treaty rights. The Makah also challenged the regulatory process as violating the FCMA and sought prospective injunctive relief. The district court dismissed both claims, finding that the 23 other tribes covered by the treaties were indispensable parties. The Makah appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Beezer, J.)

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