• Members of the Ponca, Santee, Winnebago and Omaha Tribes in Nebraska and Iowa along with others participate gather during a rally on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in front of the Army Corps of Engineers offices in Omaha, Neb., to protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in the Dakotas and Iowa. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Members of the Ponca, Santee, Winnebago and Omaha Tribes in Nebraska and Iowa along with others participate gather during a rally on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in front of the Army Corps of Engineers offices in Omaha, Neb., to protest against the ... Dakota Access Pipeline in the Dakotas and Iowa. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) (The Associated Press)

  • Members of the Ponca, Santee, Winnebago and Omaha Tribes in Nebraska and Iowa along with others participate in a rally on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in front of the Army Corps of Engineers offices in Omaha, Neb., to protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in the Dakotas and Iowa. A judge is expected to rule Friday on whether to block construction of the pipeline that is supposed to pass close to the tribal reservation near the North Dakota-South Dakota border.  (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Members of the Ponca, Santee, Winnebago and Omaha Tribes in Nebraska and Iowa along with others participate in a rally on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in front of the Army Corps of Engineers offices in Omaha, Neb., to protest against the Dakota Access ... Pipeline in the Dakotas and Iowa. A judge is expected to rule Friday on whether to block construction of the pipeline that is supposed to pass close to the tribal reservation near the North Dakota-South Dakota border. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) (The Associated Press)

  • Sam Grant of the Omaha tribe addresses members of the Ponca, Santee, Winnebago and Omaha Tribes in Nebraska and Iowa along with others during a rally on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in front of the Army Corps of Engineers offices in Omaha, Neb., to protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in the Dakotas and Iowa. A judge is expected to rule Friday on whether to block construction of the pipeline that is supposed to pass close to the tribal reservation near the North Dakota-South Dakota border.  (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    Sam Grant of the Omaha tribe addresses members of the Ponca, Santee, Winnebago and Omaha Tribes in Nebraska and Iowa along with others during a rally on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016, in front of the Army Corps of Engineers offices in Omaha, Neb., to ... protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in the Dakotas and Iowa. A judge is expected to rule Friday on whether to block construction of the pipeline that is supposed to pass close to the tribal reservation near the North Dakota-South Dakota border. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik) (The Associated Press)

Tribe challenging pipeline has some advantages in courtroom

Markets Associated Press

The American Indians challenging an oil pipeline that would cross four states have some legal advantages in a courtroom, particularly their tribe's status as a sovereign nation with long ties to the land in question.

Continue Reading Below

But stopping a project like the Dakota Access pipeline after construction has begun is difficult. And even if the Standing Rock Sioux win in federal court, the result might simply be an altered route.

A judge is expected to rule Friday on whether to block construction of the pipeline, which is supposed to pass close to the tribal reservation near the North Dakota-South Dakota border.

No matter what the court decides, opponents seem prepared for a long fight, following many of the same tactics used to defeat the Canada-to-Nebraska segment of the Keystone XL pipeline.