Appeal planned in Gun Lake casino land case

An Indian law professor says there's "zero" chance the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a land-into-trust case involving the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan.

Matthew L.M. Fletcher, an assistant professor of law and director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center at Michigan State University, said the court, at some point, will hear a challenge to the Indian Reorganization Act. The 1934 law authorized the land-into-trust process and opponents say it is unconstitutional.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed and ruled that the Bureau of Indian Affairs can acquire 147 acres for the tribe. A casino and other development are planned at the site.

One judge, however, agreed that Section 5 of the IRA is unconstitutional. A group called Michigan Gambling Opposition hopes to convince the Supreme Court that the law is too broad.

But Fletcher says the case is bogged down by other details to make it appeal-worthy. "I don't think there's any chance," he told The Grand Rapids Press. "I really think the odds are close to zero that the Supreme Court would hear it."

Get the Story:
Foes of Gun Lake Casino cling to slim legal hope (The Grand Rapids Press 5/2)
Gun Lake casino opponents down to last try (The Muskegon Chronicle 5/2)