Kialegee Tribal Town declines to submit brief in casino litigation

Artist's rendering of the what was to be the Red Clay Casino on an Indian allotment in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Image from Kialegee Tribal Town

The Kialegee Tribal Town of Oklahoma has declined to file a brief in a gaming dispute that's pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.

A response to the state's petition was due April 24. But the tribe waived its right, according to Docket Sheet No. 14-1177.

The justices could always ask the tribe to file a brief. But since the tribe no longer plans to build the Red Clay Casino on the Indian allotment that sparked the dispute, the state's petition might be viewed as inconsequential by the high court.

The state, of course, doesn't see it that way. Attorney General Scott Pruitt wants to be able to sue the tribe and its leaders despite losing the case at the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The 10th Circuit relied on the Supreme Court's decision in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community. In that case, the justices held that tribes cannot be sued under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act for activities that occur outside of "Indian lands."

The allotment where the Kialegee Tribal Town is not considered "Indian lands" so the 10th Circuit said the tribe could not be sued. The court went further and held that individual tribal leaders can't be sued either under provisions of the Class III gaming compact.

The tribe has decided to pursue a casino at a different site but plans haven't been announced.

10th Circuit Decision:
Oklahoma v. Hobia (December 22, 2014)

NIGC Indian Land Opinions:
May 25, 2012 | June 8, 2012

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

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