Mike Andrews Quoted on High Court’s Opinion in Navajo Nation Water Right Case

July 1, 2023

Phoenix CBS affiliate KPHO interviewed McGuireWoods partner Mike Andrews for a June 22, 2023, story on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in a water rights case involving the Navajo Nation.

In Arizona v. Navajo Nation, the high court ruled that the U.S. government’s treaty obligations to the Navajo Nation don’t require it to actively help the tribe increase its water access as Southwestern states struggle to adapt to dwindling supplies of water coming from the Colorado River.

Andrews, also a senior vice president leading McGuireWoods Consulting’s policy work on matters impacting Native American tribes, told KPHO that the court’s decision sends a clear message to the Navajo Nation and all Indian tribes about where they stand.

“What the Supreme Court essentially said is the Department of the Interior doesn’t have to proactively protect tribes,” Andrews said. “They don’t have to be that stopgap, which quite honestly is counterintuitive to federal Indian policy.”