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Judge to hear arguments on Dakota Access pipeline work; They're adding a freedom of religion component to their argument
Topic Started: Feb 13 2017, 05:17 PM (1,188 Views)
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) -- Two American Indian tribes have asked a federal judge to stop construction of the last stretch of the four-state Dakota Access pipeline, adding a religious freedom component to their argument that it would endanger their cultural sites and water supply.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington, D.C., is scheduled to hear arguments Monday afternoon.

The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux have asked for a temporary restraining order that would halt work on the disputed section of pipeline until their lawsuit seeking to stop it is resolved.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/judge-hear-arguments-dakota-access-062553828.html?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark
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It will be interesting to see how the courts deal with the Native American complaint that their freedom of religion will be impacted by the building of the Dakota pipeline. If employers can use their religious freedom to deny birth control coverage as part of a health care plan, why can't Native Americans block the building of a pipeline that would potentially despoil their sacred waters and deny them their freedom of religion?
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Who'd have thought that what the Tribes needed most were not warriors but lawyers
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Feb 14 2017, 06:19 AM
Who'd have thought that what the Tribes needed most were not warriors but lawyers
I think it is going to be very difficult for the courts to say that people don't have to use their money to provide birth control for their employees as part of a health care insurance package, but that other people have to let a pipeline be built on their sacred land potentially contaminating their sacred water.

That's kind of the problem with allowing "religious" exceptions. You don't get to pick and choose which religions get the exceptions without "establishing religion".

A bit of a catch 22 for the government. And quite honestly, if it works, then everyone and their cousin will suddenly have a religion that the government is violating.
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It sure is quiet around here...
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What we lost on the battlefield, we may win in the courts.
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Feb 14 2017, 08:55 AM
Tsalagi
Feb 14 2017, 06:19 AM
Who'd have thought that what the Tribes needed most were not warriors but lawyers
I think it is going to be very difficult for the courts to say that people don't have to use their money to provide birth control for their employees as part of a health care insurance package, but that other people have to let a pipeline be built on their sacred land potentially contaminating their sacred water.

That's kind of the problem with allowing "religious" exceptions. You don't get to pick and choose which religions get the exceptions without "establishing religion".

A bit of a catch 22 for the government. And quite honestly, if it works, then everyone and their cousin will suddenly have a religion that the government is violating.
I was under the impression that this pipeline does not go over any land belonging to the Standing Rock tribe. I could be wrong but my understanding is that it passes just to the north of tribal lands. This would probably invalidate any claims that the pipeline (which is 90 feet blow ground) interferes with any of their lands or sacred items.
People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do them harm.
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Feb 16 2017, 12:54 PM
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Feb 14 2017, 08:55 AM
Tsalagi
Feb 14 2017, 06:19 AM
Who'd have thought that what the Tribes needed most were not warriors but lawyers
I think it is going to be very difficult for the courts to say that people don't have to use their money to provide birth control for their employees as part of a health care insurance package, but that other people have to let a pipeline be built on their sacred land potentially contaminating their sacred water.

That's kind of the problem with allowing "religious" exceptions. You don't get to pick and choose which religions get the exceptions without "establishing religion".

A bit of a catch 22 for the government. And quite honestly, if it works, then everyone and their cousin will suddenly have a religion that the government is violating.
I was under the impression that this pipeline does not go over any land belonging to the Standing Rock tribe. I could be wrong but my understanding is that it passes just to the north of tribal lands. This would probably invalidate any claims that the pipeline (which is 90 feet blow ground) interferes with any of their lands or sacred items.
So, if their water, which they consider sacred, is rendered undrinkable by an oil spill, what then?

The aquifer doesn't follow property lines.
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Feb 16 2017, 12:54 PM
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Feb 14 2017, 08:55 AM
Tsalagi
Feb 14 2017, 06:19 AM
Who'd have thought that what the Tribes needed most were not warriors but lawyers
I think it is going to be very difficult for the courts to say that people don't have to use their money to provide birth control for their employees as part of a health care insurance package, but that other people have to let a pipeline be built on their sacred land potentially contaminating their sacred water.

That's kind of the problem with allowing "religious" exceptions. You don't get to pick and choose which religions get the exceptions without "establishing religion".

A bit of a catch 22 for the government. And quite honestly, if it works, then everyone and their cousin will suddenly have a religion that the government is violating.
I was under the impression that this pipeline does not go over any land belonging to the Standing Rock tribe. I could be wrong but my understanding is that it passes just to the north of tribal lands. This would probably invalidate any claims that the pipeline (which is 90 feet blow ground) interferes with any of their lands or sacred items.
So, if their water, which they consider sacred, is rendered undrinkable by an oil spill, what then?

The aquifer doesn't follow property lines.
True, of course, even if they moved the pipeline 10-20 miles north the aquifer would still face contamination depending on the geology.

I think that the logical point of view will be that the Standing Rock Tribe would have an issue with this pipeline just about anywhere it was put if we are talking about it being a danger to things that Native Americans hold sacred. I could be wrong, the courts may find in their favor but I think that the argument can be effectively made that there is very little in nature that Native Americans do not hold sacred. If we were to end all projects that endangered something sacred to the Native American community we would have to end the use of nearly all technology and go back to being an agrarian society with a population less than 2 million for the whole nation.
People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do them harm.
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Feb 16 2017, 01:46 PM
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Feb 16 2017, 01:19 PM
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Feb 16 2017, 12:54 PM
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Feb 14 2017, 08:55 AM
Tsalagi
Feb 14 2017, 06:19 AM
Who'd have thought that what the Tribes needed most were not warriors but lawyers
I think it is going to be very difficult for the courts to say that people don't have to use their money to provide birth control for their employees as part of a health care insurance package, but that other people have to let a pipeline be built on their sacred land potentially contaminating their sacred water.

That's kind of the problem with allowing "religious" exceptions. You don't get to pick and choose which religions get the exceptions without "establishing religion".

A bit of a catch 22 for the government. And quite honestly, if it works, then everyone and their cousin will suddenly have a religion that the government is violating.
I was under the impression that this pipeline does not go over any land belonging to the Standing Rock tribe. I could be wrong but my understanding is that it passes just to the north of tribal lands. This would probably invalidate any claims that the pipeline (which is 90 feet blow ground) interferes with any of their lands or sacred items.
So, if their water, which they consider sacred, is rendered undrinkable by an oil spill, what then?

The aquifer doesn't follow property lines.
True, of course, even if they moved the pipeline 10-20 miles north the aquifer would still face contamination depending on the geology.

I think that the logical point of view will be that the Standing Rock Tribe would have an issue with this pipeline just about anywhere it was put if we are talking about it being a danger to things that Native Americans hold sacred. I could be wrong, the courts may find in their favor but I think that the argument can be effectively made that there is very little in nature that Native Americans do not hold sacred. If we were to end all projects that endangered something sacred to the Native American community we would have to end the use of nearly all technology and go back to being an agrarian society with a population less than 2 million for the whole nation.
The problem the courts have is how do they set the line between what is "acceptable accommodation to religious rights" and "unacceptable accommodation to religious rights"?

If the Constitution protects religious freedom to the extent that purely commercial entities, with no religious function, can have waivers for laws because of the business owner's Christian religion, then why can't Native American religious believers also be accommodated?

It smacks of favoring Christianity over Native religion, which is unconstitutional. So they're going to have to come up with some rational basis for why denying birth control health care coverage to employees who don't agree with the business owner's religion is acceptable. But religious freedom doesn't extend to keeping the waters held sacred by Native Americans free from being potentially contaminated.
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I was under the impression that this pipeline does not go over any land belonging to the Standing Rock tribe. I could be wrong but my understanding is that it passes just to the north of tribal lands. This would probably invalidate any claims that the pipeline (which is 90 feet blow ground) interferes with any of their lands or sacred items.
So, if their water, which they consider sacred, is rendered undrinkable by an oil spill, what then?

The aquifer doesn't follow property lines.
True, of course, even if they moved the pipeline 10-20 miles north the aquifer would still face contamination depending on the geology.

I think that the logical point of view will be that the Standing Rock Tribe would have an issue with this pipeline just about anywhere it was put if we are talking about it being a danger to things that Native Americans hold sacred. I could be wrong, the courts may find in their favor but I think that the argument can be effectively made that there is very little in nature that Native Americans do not hold sacred. If we were to end all projects that endangered something sacred to the Native American community we would have to end the use of nearly all technology and go back to being an agrarian society with a population less than 2 million for the whole nation.
The problem the courts have is how do they set the line between what is "acceptable accommodation to religious rights" and "unacceptable accommodation to religious rights"?

If the Constitution protects religious freedom to the extent that purely commercial entities, with no religious function, can have waivers for laws because of the business owner's Christian religion, then why can't Native American religious believers also be accommodated?

It smacks of favoring Christianity over Native religion, which is unconstitutional. So they're going to have to come up with some rational basis for why denying birth control health care coverage to employees who don't agree with the business owner's religion is acceptable. But religious freedom doesn't extend to keeping the waters held sacred by Native Americans free from being potentially contaminated.
I think the difference here is ownership. The business is the property of the owner and by forcing it to purchase abortion pills for their employees the argument exists that you are forcing the owner to take action against his religious beleifes.

The Standing Rock Tribe does not own the land on which the pipeline will run so it will be difficult to make the argument that they are being forced to violate their beliefs. Using your Hobby Lobby example, the argument Standing Rock is making would be equal to the business owner claiming that his employee can not buy the abortion pill on her own dime because it offends his religious beliefs. The law would definitely be against that.
People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do them harm.
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Feb 16 2017, 03:09 PM
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Feb 16 2017, 12:54 PM

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So, if their water, which they consider sacred, is rendered undrinkable by an oil spill, what then?

The aquifer doesn't follow property lines.
True, of course, even if they moved the pipeline 10-20 miles north the aquifer would still face contamination depending on the geology.

I think that the logical point of view will be that the Standing Rock Tribe would have an issue with this pipeline just about anywhere it was put if we are talking about it being a danger to things that Native Americans hold sacred. I could be wrong, the courts may find in their favor but I think that the argument can be effectively made that there is very little in nature that Native Americans do not hold sacred. If we were to end all projects that endangered something sacred to the Native American community we would have to end the use of nearly all technology and go back to being an agrarian society with a population less than 2 million for the whole nation.
The problem the courts have is how do they set the line between what is "acceptable accommodation to religious rights" and "unacceptable accommodation to religious rights"?

If the Constitution protects religious freedom to the extent that purely commercial entities, with no religious function, can have waivers for laws because of the business owner's Christian religion, then why can't Native American religious believers also be accommodated?

It smacks of favoring Christianity over Native religion, which is unconstitutional. So they're going to have to come up with some rational basis for why denying birth control health care coverage to employees who don't agree with the business owner's religion is acceptable. But religious freedom doesn't extend to keeping the waters held sacred by Native Americans free from being potentially contaminated.
I think the difference here is ownership. The business is the property of the owner and by forcing it to purchase abortion pills for their employees the argument exists that you are forcing the owner to take action against his religious beleifes.

The Standing Rock Tribe does not own the land on which the pipeline will run so it will be difficult to make the argument that they are being forced to violate their beliefs. Using your Hobby Lobby example, the argument Standing Rock is making would be equal to the business owner claiming that his employee can not buy the abortion pill on her own dime because it offends his religious beliefs. The law would definitely be against that.
They do own the water rights to the aquifer beneath their land, do they not? It's not like you can give them any significant assurance or guarantee that their water won't be contaminated. Why are their ownership rights of less significance in this circumstance?
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True, of course, even if they moved the pipeline 10-20 miles north the aquifer would still face contamination depending on the geology.

I think that the logical point of view will be that the Standing Rock Tribe would have an issue with this pipeline just about anywhere it was put if we are talking about it being a danger to things that Native Americans hold sacred. I could be wrong, the courts may find in their favor but I think that the argument can be effectively made that there is very little in nature that Native Americans do not hold sacred. If we were to end all projects that endangered something sacred to the Native American community we would have to end the use of nearly all technology and go back to being an agrarian society with a population less than 2 million for the whole nation.
The problem the courts have is how do they set the line between what is "acceptable accommodation to religious rights" and "unacceptable accommodation to religious rights"?

If the Constitution protects religious freedom to the extent that purely commercial entities, with no religious function, can have waivers for laws because of the business owner's Christian religion, then why can't Native American religious believers also be accommodated?

It smacks of favoring Christianity over Native religion, which is unconstitutional. So they're going to have to come up with some rational basis for why denying birth control health care coverage to employees who don't agree with the business owner's religion is acceptable. But religious freedom doesn't extend to keeping the waters held sacred by Native Americans free from being potentially contaminated.
I think the difference here is ownership. The business is the property of the owner and by forcing it to purchase abortion pills for their employees the argument exists that you are forcing the owner to take action against his religious beleifes.

The Standing Rock Tribe does not own the land on which the pipeline will run so it will be difficult to make the argument that they are being forced to violate their beliefs. Using your Hobby Lobby example, the argument Standing Rock is making would be equal to the business owner claiming that his employee can not buy the abortion pill on her own dime because it offends his religious beliefs. The law would definitely be against that.
They do own the water rights to the aquifer beneath their land, do they not? It's not like you can give them any significant assurance or guarantee that their water won't be contaminated. Why are their ownership rights of less significance in this circumstance?
That is an interesting question and again, it depends on geology. If the aquifer extends beyond their lands then odds are, no they don't own it. In addition, people who own land do not own the rights to water under that land. This is why a water management district can order citizens not to use their sprinklers. In fact, even ground water is subject to government agencies oversight. Now being as they are a reservation I don't know how all of the legalities work out. Also, when you won property you do not own the mineral rights to that property unless you purchase them separately from the federal government.

So it is something of a complicated issue and trying to bring religion into it is probably not a great idea.
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Feb 16 2017, 03:44 PM
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The problem the courts have is how do they set the line between what is "acceptable accommodation to religious rights" and "unacceptable accommodation to religious rights"?

If the Constitution protects religious freedom to the extent that purely commercial entities, with no religious function, can have waivers for laws because of the business owner's Christian religion, then why can't Native American religious believers also be accommodated?

It smacks of favoring Christianity over Native religion, which is unconstitutional. So they're going to have to come up with some rational basis for why denying birth control health care coverage to employees who don't agree with the business owner's religion is acceptable. But religious freedom doesn't extend to keeping the waters held sacred by Native Americans free from being potentially contaminated.
I think the difference here is ownership. The business is the property of the owner and by forcing it to purchase abortion pills for their employees the argument exists that you are forcing the owner to take action against his religious beleifes.

The Standing Rock Tribe does not own the land on which the pipeline will run so it will be difficult to make the argument that they are being forced to violate their beliefs. Using your Hobby Lobby example, the argument Standing Rock is making would be equal to the business owner claiming that his employee can not buy the abortion pill on her own dime because it offends his religious beliefs. The law would definitely be against that.
They do own the water rights to the aquifer beneath their land, do they not? It's not like you can give them any significant assurance or guarantee that their water won't be contaminated. Why are their ownership rights of less significance in this circumstance?
That is an interesting question and again, it depends on geology. If the aquifer extends beyond their lands then odds are, no they don't own it. In addition, people who own land do not own the rights to water under that land. This is why a water management district can order citizens not to use their sprinklers. In fact, even ground water is subject to government agencies oversight. Now being as they are a reservation I don't know how all of the legalities work out. Also, when you won property you do not own the mineral rights to that property unless you purchase them separately from the federal government.

So it is something of a complicated issue and trying to bring religion into it is probably not a great idea.
If you can use your religious rights to protect your property when it is the form of money, why can't you use your religious rights to protect your property when it is in the form of water? Why is Christian's money more worthy of legal protections than Native American's water? That's the question the courts will have to figure out.

And I would be very surprised if the Native Tribes didn't have at least some water rights. It's pretty hard to have "sovereignty" if others control your water.
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I think the difference here is ownership. The business is the property of the owner and by forcing it to purchase abortion pills for their employees the argument exists that you are forcing the owner to take action against his religious beleifes.

The Standing Rock Tribe does not own the land on which the pipeline will run so it will be difficult to make the argument that they are being forced to violate their beliefs. Using your Hobby Lobby example, the argument Standing Rock is making would be equal to the business owner claiming that his employee can not buy the abortion pill on her own dime because it offends his religious beliefs. The law would definitely be against that.
They do own the water rights to the aquifer beneath their land, do they not? It's not like you can give them any significant assurance or guarantee that their water won't be contaminated. Why are their ownership rights of less significance in this circumstance?
That is an interesting question and again, it depends on geology. If the aquifer extends beyond their lands then odds are, no they don't own it. In addition, people who own land do not own the rights to water under that land. This is why a water management district can order citizens not to use their sprinklers. In fact, even ground water is subject to government agencies oversight. Now being as they are a reservation I don't know how all of the legalities work out. Also, when you won property you do not own the mineral rights to that property unless you purchase them separately from the federal government.

So it is something of a complicated issue and trying to bring religion into it is probably not a great idea.
If you can use your religious rights to protect your property when it is the form of money, why can't you use your religious rights to protect your property when it is in the form of water? Why is Christian's money more worthy of legal protections than Native American's water? That's the question the courts will have to figure out.

And I would be very surprised if the Native Tribes didn't have at least some water rights. It's pretty hard to have "sovereignty" if others control your water.
Like I said, it will be interesting and may depend on the geology. If putting the line in this location places an aquifer that only exists under tribal lands in jeopardy then it could be interesting. On the other hand, if it leaves their lands and can be tapped by anyone else at all then all bets are off.

Based on this map I don't see one that would be only on Tribal lands.

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They do own the water rights to the aquifer beneath their land, do they not? It's not like you can give them any significant assurance or guarantee that their water won't be contaminated. Why are their ownership rights of less significance in this circumstance?
That is an interesting question and again, it depends on geology. If the aquifer extends beyond their lands then odds are, no they don't own it. In addition, people who own land do not own the rights to water under that land. This is why a water management district can order citizens not to use their sprinklers. In fact, even ground water is subject to government agencies oversight. Now being as they are a reservation I don't know how all of the legalities work out. Also, when you won property you do not own the mineral rights to that property unless you purchase them separately from the federal government.

So it is something of a complicated issue and trying to bring religion into it is probably not a great idea.
If you can use your religious rights to protect your property when it is the form of money, why can't you use your religious rights to protect your property when it is in the form of water? Why is Christian's money more worthy of legal protections than Native American's water? That's the question the courts will have to figure out.

And I would be very surprised if the Native Tribes didn't have at least some water rights. It's pretty hard to have "sovereignty" if others control your water.
Like I said, it will be interesting and may depend on the geology. If putting the line in this location places an aquifer that only exists under tribal lands in jeopardy then it could be interesting. On the other hand, if it leaves their lands and can be tapped by anyone else at all then all bets are off.

Based on this map I don't see one that would be only on Tribal lands.

Posted Image
How does their sharing the aquifer change anything? They still have water rights. Just not sole rights. That doesn't mean their rights are somehow less deserving of legal protection than sole water rights.

If their "property", in the form of water rights, could be damaged by this pipeline and they hold water as sacred, how does their religious rights not come into play?

Water rights, in particular, have a long history in this country of being shared by many. And still being legally protected.

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That is an interesting question and again, it depends on geology. If the aquifer extends beyond their lands then odds are, no they don't own it. In addition, people who own land do not own the rights to water under that land. This is why a water management district can order citizens not to use their sprinklers. In fact, even ground water is subject to government agencies oversight. Now being as they are a reservation I don't know how all of the legalities work out. Also, when you won property you do not own the mineral rights to that property unless you purchase them separately from the federal government.

So it is something of a complicated issue and trying to bring religion into it is probably not a great idea.
If you can use your religious rights to protect your property when it is the form of money, why can't you use your religious rights to protect your property when it is in the form of water? Why is Christian's money more worthy of legal protections than Native American's water? That's the question the courts will have to figure out.

And I would be very surprised if the Native Tribes didn't have at least some water rights. It's pretty hard to have "sovereignty" if others control your water.
Like I said, it will be interesting and may depend on the geology. If putting the line in this location places an aquifer that only exists under tribal lands in jeopardy then it could be interesting. On the other hand, if it leaves their lands and can be tapped by anyone else at all then all bets are off.

Based on this map I don't see one that would be only on Tribal lands.

Posted Image
How does their sharing the aquifer change anything? They still have water rights. Just not sole rights. That doesn't mean their rights are somehow less deserving of legal protection than sole water rights.

If their "property", in the form of water rights, could be damaged by this pipeline and they hold water as sacred, how does their religious rights not come into play?

Water rights, in particular, have a long history in this country of being shared by many. And still being legally protected.

Well, obviously a judge may see it different but I am saying that they can't claim religious rights to something that is not their sole possession. It would be an incredibly slippery slope to say that if an aquifer runs under any portion of any person's property then that person has the right to apply religious significance to that water and thereby deny the otherwise legal use of another person's property to them.

Somebody could claim to worship water and then legally ban anyone from drinking any of the water from the aquifer that touches their land even if the aquifer in question has the majority of it's body outside of that person's land. In addition, taking it farther, the water cycle is all interconnected so you could be extension, legally ban everyone everywhere from using any water anywhere because they would be defiling your water god.

Obviously I am taking this to the extreme here but I am just pointing out that this will be a difficult ruling when there is so much precedent that says the Army Corps of Engineers has right to issue this permit.
Edited by Demagogue, Feb 16 2017, 06:50 PM.
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If you can use your religious rights to protect your property when it is the form of money, why can't you use your religious rights to protect your property when it is in the form of water? Why is Christian's money more worthy of legal protections than Native American's water? That's the question the courts will have to figure out.

And I would be very surprised if the Native Tribes didn't have at least some water rights. It's pretty hard to have "sovereignty" if others control your water.
Like I said, it will be interesting and may depend on the geology. If putting the line in this location places an aquifer that only exists under tribal lands in jeopardy then it could be interesting. On the other hand, if it leaves their lands and can be tapped by anyone else at all then all bets are off.

Based on this map I don't see one that would be only on Tribal lands.

Posted Image
How does their sharing the aquifer change anything? They still have water rights. Just not sole rights. That doesn't mean their rights are somehow less deserving of legal protection than sole water rights.

If their "property", in the form of water rights, could be damaged by this pipeline and they hold water as sacred, how does their religious rights not come into play?

Water rights, in particular, have a long history in this country of being shared by many. And still being legally protected.

Well, obviously a judge may see it different but I am saying that they can't claim religious rights to something that is not their sole possession. It would be an incredibly slippery slope to say that if an aquifer runs under any portion of any person's property then that person has the right to apply religious significance to that water and thereby deny the otherwise legal use of another person's property to them.

Somebody could claim to worship water and then legally ban anyone from drinking any of the water from the aquifer that touches their land even if the aquifer in question has the majority of it's body outside of that person's land. In addition, taking it farther, the water cycle is all interconnected so you could be extension, legally ban everyone everywhere from using any water anywhere because they would be defiling your water god.

Obviously I am taking this to the extreme here but I am just pointing out that this will be a difficult ruling when there is so much precedent that says the Army Corps of Engineers has right to issue this permit.
First, legal protection of water rights is a particularly thorny and complex legal area. The laws that apply to water rights are simply much more complex than most legal areas, which is saying something. So I don't think either of us, as water rights novices, can really say with any certainty what the decision might be there.

Second, when you talk about how applying "religious rights" to water could be a problem because of the vast reach such rights could theoretically have, I'd say the exact same thing regarding applying "religious rights" to money. Yet that didn't stop the courts from doing exactly that.
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Demagogue
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So the judge said there are no grounds to stop them from putting the pipeline in. That pretty much ends any bid to stop construction of the pipeline. The next hearing will not be until Feb 27 where basically they are going to make an argument that the oil being in the pipe at all somehow is a violation of their religion. This of course is a religion that did not even know what oil was when it was founded. Additionally, I would bet that oil is naturally occurring underground in some areas where the tribe once practiced this religion so I don't see this going well for them.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-judge-dakota-access-pipeline-work-20170213-story.html
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Feb 17 2017, 10:53 AM
So the judge said there are no grounds to stop them from putting the pipeline in. That pretty much ends any bid to stop construction of the pipeline. The next hearing will not be until Feb 27 where basically they are going to make an argument that the oil being in the pipe at all somehow is a violation of their religion. This of course is a religion that did not even know what oil was when it was founded. Additionally, I would bet that oil is naturally occurring underground in some areas where the tribe once practiced this religion so I don't see this going well for them.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-judge-dakota-access-pipeline-work-20170213-story.html
Actually, what he said was that the pipeline, in and of itself, wasn't a danger to their water or their religious sites. So he wasn't going to issue a temporary injunction to stop work going forward on the pipeline. He made no ruling as to their merits of their argument.
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