The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
still doesn't know when the Trump administration will make a decision on its long-delayed casino in Massachusetts.
The tribe has been told to expect an "update" within 30 days, The Cape Cod Times reports. But that doesn't mean a decision will be made at that time.
“This is no slam dunk decision,” Chairman Cedric Cromwell told the paper. “There is a trust responsibility (between) the United States and federally recognized tribes.”
The tribe broke ground on the First Light
Resort and Casino
after the Bureau of Indian Affairs
approved the project back in September 2015
. But litigation led to a halt in construction.
Opponents claim the U.S. Supreme Court
in Carcieri v.
bars the tribe from following the land-into-trust
. According to the ruling, the BIA can place land in trust for tribes that
were "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934 -- the Mashpees didn't gain formal
recognition of their status until 2007.
The tribe's casino site, located in the city of Taunton, remains in trust but a
federal judge has ordered the BIA to reconsider. Jim Cason, the Associate Deputy
Secretary of the Department of the
, is in charge of the review.
Cason, whose position at the department did not require Senate
confirmation, was prepared
to reject the tribe's application last summer. He even gave the tribe a copy of a
that would have spelled defeat for the casino.
An attorney at Interior has since told the tribe that the matter “remains a top priority” for the department, The Cape Cod Times reported. But the attorney would not say when a decision would be made.
Read More on the Story:
Interior promises update on Mashpee tribe land review in 30 days
(The Cape Cod Times February 21, 2018)
Federal Court Decision:District
Court of Massachusetts: Littlefield v. Department of the Interior
Supreme Court Decision in Carcieri v. Salazar:Syllabus
Department of the Interior Solicitor Opinion:M-37029: The Meaning
of "Under Federal Jurisdiction" for Purposes of the Indian Reorganization
(March 12, 2014)
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