Lincoln v. Vigil, 508 U.S. 182, 18 (1993)

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Cite as: 508 U. S. 182 (1993)

Opinion of the Court

Service's initiation of the pilot project in 1978 altered the criteria for assistance to Indians in South Dakota.

Nor, finally, do we think that the Court of Appeals was on solid ground in holding that Morton v. Ruiz, 415 U. S. 199 (1974), required the Service to abide by the APA's notice-and-comment provisions before terminating the Program. Those provisions were not at issue in Ruiz, where respondents challenged a provision, contained in a Bureau of Indian Affairs manual, that restricted eligibility for Indian assistance. Although the Bureau's own regulations required it to publish the provision in the Federal Register, the Bureau had failed to do so. Id., at 233-234. We held that the Bureau's failure to abide by its own procedures rendered the provision invalid, stating that, under those circumstances, the denial of benefits would be "inconsistent with 'the distinctive obligation of trust incumbent upon the Government in its dealings with these dependent and sometimes exploited people.' " Id., at 236 (quoting Seminole Nation v. United States, 316 U. S. 286, 296 (1942)). No such circumstances exist here.


The judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

It is so ordered.


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