With one lawsuit already on the docket, a non-Indian gaming developer is prepared for more litigation to stop the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe from building a casino in southeastern Massachusetts.
H.3702, the state's gaming law, authorizes one casino for "a federally recognized tribe." KG Urban Enterprises says the set-aside violates the U.S. Constitution.
A federal judge disagreed and the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals arguments in the case on June 7. But even if KG loses, attorneys plan to raise other challenges to the Mashpee casino, such as the U.S. Supreme Court decision in
Salazar, which bars tribes that weren't "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934 from following-the land-into-trust process.
"It's all going to come down to land-into-trust and will that land be approved for gaming, which is not going to happen under Carcieri," attorney Marsha Sajer told The New Bedford-Standard Times. The Mashpees didn't gain federal recognition until May 2007.
Attorneys for KG also cited the more recent Salazar v. Patchak decision. The ruling opens the door for more challenges to land-into-trust acquisitions.
"That's really significant," attorney Paul Clement, who worked for the Department of Justice during the Bush administration, told the paper. "It takes a process that's already very challenging and makes it that much harder."
Clement served as Solicitor General at DOJ and signed the Supreme Court briefs in the Carcieri case. He left the Bush administration before the decision came down.
Get the Story:
Lawyers for developer KG Urban believe they will prevail in bid to throw out state's casino guidelines
(The New Bedford Standard-Times 6/24)
Beyond Taunton borders: Surrounding communities want voice in city casino deal
(The Taunton Daily Gazette 6/25)
Our View: State's 'head start' for tribal gaming puts all at risk
(South Coast Today 6/24)
Governor again cites progress for
Mashpee Wampanoag compact (6/22)