United States v Miller

Miller appealed the dismissal of motion to vacate his sentence. The panel affirmed. It first rejected the government’s argument the motion was untimely as it failed to raise it below, in its brief or at oral argument and the issue raised of whether mandatory guidelines on career criminal status are unconstitutionally vague is sure to come up again. Leaving the question open, the panel held that the commentary to the guidelines listed robbery as a violent offense, the commentary thus narrowed the guideline on violent offenses and made it sufficiently clear and Miller had two conviction of robbery which was sufficient to trigger career offender status.

Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation v Lawrence

Tribe appealed the dismissal of its action for an injunction against a state contract case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The panel reversed and remanded. It held that under circuit and United states Supreme court precedent, claims that federal law preempts state court jurisdiction arise under federal law, Tribe claims that federal law bars the state suit here, a prior appeal between the parties involved claims state law was not preempted and thus does not control here and subject matter jurisdiction is different that tribal immunity and thus Supreme Court precedent on immunity does not control.

Becker v Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation v Lawrence

Tribe appealed the grant of a preliminary injunction against a tribal action involving the same contract dispute as Lawrence above and the dismissal of its 1983 action. The panel affirmed in part and reversed in part. It held the preliminary injunction was improper here as assertions of tribal court jurisdiction must be decided in tribal court and the waiver of tribal exhaustion in the underlying contract was unenforceable as the whole contract was void for lack of federal approval. It affirmed the dismissal of the 1983 action as the suit sought to protect tribal sovereignty and thus Tribe was not a person under 1983. Hartz added a concurrence arguing the waiver language in the contract does not in fact waive tribal court jurisdiction but instead allows for suit in federal, state and tribal courts an also argued better language on forum should be included in future contracts. Ebel added a concurrence arguing the Hartz concurrence was dicta and would have been if part of the majority opinion as the record is insufficient to analyze the issue.