Miller, et al v. Wright, et al

Plaintiffs, cigarette vendors, appealed the district court's dismissal of their antitrust action against defendants for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiffs challenged taxes imposed by the virtue of the authority vested in an Indian tribe. The court held that the tribe did not implicitly waive its sovereign immunity by agreeing to dispute resolution procedures nor by ceding its authority to Washington State when entering into a cigarette tax contract. The court also held that federal antitrust law did not explicitly abrogate tribal immunity, and the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. 1, was not a law of general applicability vis-a-vis the tribe. The court further held that tribal officials were protected by the tribe's sovereign immunity because they acted pursuant to the tribe's authority. The court affirmed the district court's alternative ruling that the action was barred by res judicata in light of the prior litigation in state and tribal courts. View "Miller, et al v. Wright, et al" on Justia Law