Ruling that the federally recognized Indian tribe, the Cayuga Nation of New York, is a governmental entity and therefore it “cannot maintain a libel claim,” a state appeals court has thrown out Cayuga Nation’s defamation action against Showtime Networks over its fictional depiction in an episode of “Billions.”

The decision from an Appellate Division, First Department panel also tossed out, on separate but related grounds, defamation claims lodged in the same lawsuit by co-plaintiff Clint Halftown, who is a Cayuga Nation citizen, its federal representative and a member of the Cayuga Nation Council.

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