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The State : Indian's Claim Rejected

September 10, 1987

A Chippewa Indian's claim that federal rules regulating use of eagles in traditional religious services violate his rights to religious freedom were rejected by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The court also upheld a ruling by the U.S. District Court in Nevada that Adam Nordwall had no legal standing to challenge the federal government's permit system for taking, possessing and transporting eagles. Nordwall, 58, was arrested in 1982 for possession of contraband golden eagle parts. He also was charged with selling the goods to a U.S. Interior Department undercover agent. Although a jury was unable to reach a verdict in his criminal case, the 38 golden eagle parts involved in the dealings were confiscated through civil proceedings. Raising questions about religious rights, Nordwall sued to get the materials back.

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