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Soo Tribe confident of success with off-reservation casino bid

Filed Under: Casino Stalker | Litigation
More on: 6th circuit, igra, immunity, land claims, michigan, off-reservation, section 20, soo tribe, supreme court

Artist's rendering of the proposed Kewadin Lansing Casino. Image from Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians got some good news this week when the state of Michigan withdrew its appeal in an off-reservation gaming case.

The tribe plans to build the $245 million Kewadin Lansing Casino in Lansing. The site was purchased in connection with the Michigan Indian Land Claims Settlement Act.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act generally bars gaming on land acquired after 1988. But Section 20 of the law contains an exception for tribes with land claim settlements.

The Sault Tribe believes it qualifies for the exception. The case, however, never got to that point because the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the tribe didn't waive its sovereign immunity.

“We continue to evaluate our next steps, recognize that legal hurdles remain, but remain confident of our underlying legal position and fully committed to moving forward with our Lansing casino project," tribal attorney John Wernet told The Lansing State Journal.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette accused the Sault Tribe of violating the Class III gaming compact by failing to secure the approval of all other tribes for an off-reservation casino. Even though he's withdrawn his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, he intends to pursue that claim in the lower courts, a spokesperson told the paper.

Get the Story:
Attorney General withdraws Supreme Court petition against proposed Lansing casino (The Lansing State Journal 6/5)
Attorney general shifts tactics in Lansing casino case (Michigan Radio 6/5)

Supreme Court Decision:
Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community (May 27, 2014)

6th Circuit Decision:
Michigan v. Sault Ste Marie Tribe (December 18, 2013)

Related Stories:
Michigan drops appeal in Soo Tribe off-reservation gaming case (6/4)

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