Published on: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
In United States v. Tohono O’odham Nation, decided on April 26, 2011, the United States Supreme Court turned to the treatise written by University of St. Thomas School of Law Professor Gregory Sisk. Sisk, who is being invested as the Pio Cardinal Laghi Distinguished Chair in Law, is one of the nation’s leading experts on civil suits against the United States government and its officers. He has written both a treatise and a casebook on “Litigation With the Federal Government,” as well as numerous articles on federal sovereign immunity, money claims against the federal government, and the specialized Court of Federal Claims.
In Tohono O’odham Nation, the Supreme Court ruled that an Indian tribe could not file two lawsuits against the federal government in different courts but arising out of the same factual allegations that the government had mishandled tribal financial accounts. In an amicus curiae brief that he had submitted to the Court in the case, Sisk argued that the duplicate lawsuits should never have been filed because a single lawsuit in the Court of Federal Claims would provide adequate relief to the tribe. In the majority opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Court said that the tribe would not suffer a hardship by being limited to a single suit in a single court because all of its damages could have been compensated in the Court of Federal Claims. In discussing the history and relief available in the Court of Federal Claims, the Court’s opinion cited Sisk’s treatise on “Litigation With the Federal Government.”
True to his role as an academic, Sisk is already at work on a law review article on the case and has been asked to speak on the case at the Court of Federal Claims Judicial Conference in Berkeley, California this October.
The Court’s opinion can be found at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-846.pdf.