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Appeals court rules Yakama Nation can’t sue over tobacco tax

A federal appeals court says the Yakama Indian Nation can’t sue to block collection of a federal tax on tobacco products made by a company on the reservation.

The decision was issued Tuesday by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The appeals court vacated a lower court’s decision for lack of jurisdiction and remanded the case back to the U.S. District Court for Eastern Washington for dismissal.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review whether the tribe’s treaty rights should exempt a tribal member’s cigarette business from paying state tobacco fees.

King Mountain grows tobacco and manufactures cigarettes on the tribe’s reservation south of Yakima in south-central Washington.


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