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Judge rejects NY, counties' land trust challenges

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A federal judge has upheld the U.S. Department of Interior's authority to put more than 13,000 acres of upstate New York land into trust for the Oneida Indian Nation. New York state and Madison and Oneida counties had argued that former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne's decision authorizing the transfer of about 20 square miles was unconstitutional and exceeded his authority. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn rejected their arguments.