WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said it will hear a dispute over water involving the U.S. government and the Navajo Nation.
The high court said Friday it would review a lower court ruling in favor of the Navajo Nation, which spans parts of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. The government signed treaties with the Navajo Nation in 1849 and 1868 that established the reservation. It was later extended west to the Colorado River, which forms the reservation’s western boundary. At stake in this case is the water of the Colorado River, which itself is decreasing in part due to overexploitation and drought.
The case dates back to 2003, when the tribe filed a lawsuit alleging that the federal government’s plans on the Colorado River failed to consider and protect the tribe’s water rights. More recently, a trial court dismissed the case, but a federal appeals court allowed her to proceed. The federal government contests this result.
The Supreme Court has also agreed to hear two other cases. One is a patent case in which biotech company Amgen sued Sanofi and Regeneron for patent infringement. The other is a $90 million trademark dispute involving controls used to operate heavy equipment such as cranes.
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