Land Acquisitions | Legislation | Litigation | Openings & Closings

Gun Lake Tribe eager to defend casino in Supreme Court challenge




The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians owns and operates the Gun Lake Casino in Wayland, Michigan. Photo: Gun Lake Casino

The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians, also known as the Gun Lake Tribe, is heading back to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend its casino from a long-running lawsuit.

The tribe opened the Gun Lake Casino in February 2011. A year later, the nation's highest court ruled that a non-Indian man could proceed with a lawsuit that questioned the status of the gaming site even though the land had already been placed in trust.

But before the case could be resolved, Congress stepped in with S.1603, the Gun Lake Trust Land Reaffirmation Act. The new law, in addition to confirming that the site of the casino is in trust, ordered the federal courts to “promptly dismiss” the lawsuit.

The battle isn't over, though, The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear Patchak v. Zinke and determine whether the law violates the U.S. Constitution.

"The tribe is eager to argue the merits of the Gun Lake Trust Land Reaffirmation Act before the U.S. Supreme Court," Chairman Scott Sprague said in a statement to MLive.

Sprague will welcome visitors to the casino on Wednesday as the tribe debuts a $76 million expansion of the facility.

Read More on the Story:
Gun Lake Casino challenge going back to Supreme Court (MLive 5/1)
Supreme Court Takes Up Michigan Casino Challenege (Courthouse News 5/1)
Supreme Court to Explore Power of Congress to Affect Lawsuits (Roll Call 5/1)
High Court To Mull Law That Blocked Tribal Casino Suit (Law360 5/1)

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Patchak v. Jewell (July 15, 2016)

U.S. Supreme Court Decision:
Patchak v. Jewell (June 18, 2012)

Prior D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Patchak v. Salazar (January 21, 2011)

Related Stories:
Supreme Court brings bad news to tribes by taking up land case (May 1, 2017)
Gun Lake Tribe prepares for grand opening of casino expansion (April 28, 2017)
Supreme Court relists petition in Gun Lake Tribe gaming land case (April 25, 2017)
Supreme Court takes no action on long-running tribal land case (April 24, 2017)
Supreme Court declines to hear yet another Indian Country case (April 17, 2017)
Trump team gets more time in Supreme Court tribal casino case (February 27, 2017)
Federal appeals court backs Gun Lake Tribe land-into-trust law (July 15, 2016)