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Satz, Ronald N. / Chippewa treaty rights [special issue]
volume 79, No. 1 (1991)

Appendix 9: State of Wisconsin's acceptance of Judge Barbara Crabb's final judgement,   pp. 195-197 ff. PDF (816.6 KB)


Page 195


                             Appendix 9
                    State of Wisconsin's Acceptance
               of Judge Barbara Crabb's Final Judgment
Statement by Attorney General James E. Doyle, Jr.
Madison, Wisconsin
May 20, 1991, 9:30 A.M.
  Sixty days ago, Judge Crabb entered a final order in the treaty rights
litigation.
The Federal District Court has issued a set of decisions on a variety of
issues
involving the treaty. Last week, lawyers for the various bands of the Chippewa
tribe involved in the litigation informed us that they would not appeal any
of the
issues, if the State also did not appeal.
  After extensive consideration and consultation, Secretary Besadny and I
are
announcing today that the State will not appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals
for
the Seventh Circuit. This means that a long and costly legal battle has been
put to
rest. It allows us to open a new chapter in state, community and tribal relations.
  This case has been fully litigated. Wisconsin and the tribe have been in
court
for nearly 17 years. Judge Crabb has heard a great deal of testimony and
she has
issued well-reasoned, comprehensive decisions. The matter has already been
to the
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals twice.
  This decision has required an extensive legal review of what the state
could win
or lose through a possible appeal. The D-N-R, as the client agency, in consultation
with the lawyers in this office, has concluded that a further appeal of this
case
would serve no useful purpose, and might jeopardize the gains we have made.
And,
I concur.
  The fundamental question of off-reservation treaty rights has already been
decided
by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in this litigation. In 1978, my father
ruled
that the Chippewas' off-reservation rights set out in the treaties of 1837
and 1842
had been extinguished. On appeal, in 1983 the Seventh Circuit said my father's
ruling was incorrect and declared that the off-reservation rights were valid.
The
State asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review that decision and the Supreme
Court
declined.
  I know that many people in Wisconsin hold out hopes that another appeal
would
produce a different outcome. The general rule of law is that an issue once
decided
cannot be litigated again. There is no reasonable basis for a belief that
the Seventh
Circuit, or the Supreme Court, would deviate from this general rule and that
the
outcome on this basic issue would be any different today.
  Our decision was reached after an exceptionally thorough legal review by
many
lawyers in this department over the last sixty days and extensive consultation
with
the D-N-R, the Department of Administration and the Governor's Office.
  Wisconsin has won many significant victories in this case, all of which
would
be jeopardized in any appeal. These victories include:
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