Supreme Court Denies Review in Katie John case!

On March 31, 2014 the Supreme Court denied review in the Alaska subsistence litigation known as the Katie John case.  The State of Alaska’s lawsuit was filed in 2005.  It asked the Court to overturn federal rules promulgated in 1999 that include waters subject to the federal reserved water rights doctrine in the definition of public lands in Title VIII of the  Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA).  The federal rules provide a subsistence priority on those waters during times of shortage for rural Alaskans. The case is the third in a series that was commenced in 1985 to obtain the subsistence protections promised in ANILCA.

Kanji & Katzen represented the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) in the litigation as an intervenor in support of the 1999 federal rules.  AFN is the largest statewide Native organization in Alaska. Its membership includes 178 villages (both federally-recognized tribes and village corporations), 13 regional Native corporations and 12 regional nonprofit and tribal consortiums that contract and run federal and state programs. The mission of AFN is to enhance and promote the cultural, economic and political voice of the entire Alaska Native community.

The State of Alaska was joined by thirteen states and the Pacific Legal Foundation in an effort to obtain Supreme Court review of a successful Ninth Circuit decision.   A link to AFN’s press release on the matter is below.