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Howard Valandra: Feinstein bill ends land-into-trust for gaming

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: dianne feinstein, howard valandra, land-into-trust, off-reservation
Howard Valandra takes aim at S.477, the Tribal Gaming Eligibility Act:
I have been thinking about the “Indian Land problems” that continue to swirl around DC. We have the ongoing impacts of the Carcieri and Patchak decisions and the seemingly vexing problem of “reservation shopping.” It was my hope that the shopping argument was a placard for negotiating the fix. Now I am not so sure.

This past week Senator Diane Feinstein introduced S.477 (To amend the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act to modify a provision relating to gaming on land acquired after October 17, 1988). This deeply cynical and troubling piece of legislation is aimed at keeping Tribal governments from obtaining justice and fulfilling the promises of the economic development enabled by the Cabazon case.

It is not a big surprise that the Senator has revived and strengthened the misguided concepts embodied in S.477. Briefly, it imposes two substantive analytic hurdles for taking land in to trust pursuant to §2719 of the IGRA—(1) a substantial, direct, modern connection to the land if the land is located within a 25-mile radius of the tribal head- quarters or other tribal governmental facilities (like a casino) of the Indian tribe on the reservation, and (2) demonstrates a substantial, direct, aboriginal connection to land.

Get the Story:
Howard Valandra: S.477: The Real Game Now Begins (Indian Country Today 3/11)

Related Stories:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduces anti-tribal casino bill again (3/8)

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