indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+ indianz.com on soundcloud
phone: 202 630 8439
Native American Bank - Native people investing in Native communities
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Judge dismisses bid to block Alabama tribe from Class III
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Filed Under: Law

A federal judge on Monday refused to allow the state of Alabama to challenge a long-disputed provision of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Alabama Attorney General Troy King, a Republican, sued the Interior Department in April in hopes of blocking the Poarch Band of Creek Indians from engaging in Class III gaming. IGRA regulations that allow the federal government to step in when a state refuses to negotiate a compact are unconstitutional, he contends.

In Texas, the state was able to stop the Kickapoo Tribe from Class III gaming even before Interior reached a decision on the matter. King hoped to do the same in Alabama, where officials have balked at coming to the table with the Poarch Band for nearly two decades.

But Judge William Steele said King filed the suit too early. Without a "final agency action" from Interior, the court doesn't have anything to review, the 17-page decision stated.

"The issues of whether the [IGRA] regulations exceed statutory authority or represent an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority to the executive are presumably legal ones, but to establish them the state invokes matters that can be fully considered only on a factual record developed in the underlying administrative proceedings," Steele wrote in dismissing the case.

Steele left the door open for King to file another lawsuit if Interior takes action on behalf of the tribe. The state could also appeal, a route that led to victory in Texas after a lower court judge dismissed that case.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated the IGRA regulations in a lengthy August 2007 decision. The court said Interior couldn't cut Texas out of the process because that would go against IGRA, which gives states a role in Class III gaming on reservations.

The Kickapoo Tribe asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the decision. But the Department of Justice, even though it believed the 5th Circuit "erred" by invalidating the regulations, opposed review of the case.

As for the Poarch Band, it's not clear when Interior would issue regulations for the tribe, whose leaders intervened in King's lawsuit. The tribe's request for Class III gaming has been pending since March 2006.

With the change in administration quickly approaching, it's unlikely a decision will be made soon or even after president-elect Barack Obama is inaugurated in January 2009. Poarch Creek officials were among the hundreds of tribal leaders who endorsed the Democratic candidate.

The tribe has always been willing to negotiate a compact but state governors have consistently refused. The tribe is limited to Class II games like bingo and pull-tabs, along with electronic versions of those games.

Despite the restrictions, the tribe has built a strong economy around its gaming enterprise. A $260 million casino resort, including a 232-room hotel, makes its debut in January. The tribe recently doubled the size of another casino.

Court Decision:
Alabama v. US (November 24, 2008)

Related Stories:
NIGC chairman stresses independence to Obama team (11/19)
Indian gaming issues up for Obama's review (11/18)
Poarch Band busy expanding casino operation (10/13)
Poarch Creek casino expected to lead growth in region (10/7)
Supreme Court refuses to hear Kickapoo gaming case (10/6)
NIGC finally rules on Poarch Creek casino site (5/29)
Bush administration opposes review of IGRA case (5/13)
Alabama sues to block Poarch Creek Class III gaming (4/9)



Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:
On Facebook

On Twitter

On Google+

On SoundCloud
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Tribes rest easy as Supreme Court wraps up a surprising session (6/24)
Tribes in northern California take action to protect salmon runs (6/24)
Aaron Payment re-elected as chairman of Sault Ste. Marie Tribe (6/24)
Gun Lake Tribe hosts annual Sweet Grass Moon Powwow in July (6/24)
Native Sun News: First Native hockey referee 'Butchy' passes on (6/24)
Delphine Red Shirt: Lakota people denied voting rights on our land (6/24)
Ruth Hopkins: Saving sacred Bear Butte from a massive biker bar (6/24)
Terese Mailhot: Becoming a better ally after the Orlando shooting (6/24)
April Youpee-Roll: Elizabeth Warren owes more to Indian Country (6/24)
Another land-into-trust fix reportedly being drafted in the Senate (6/24)
Federal charges filed in kidnapping of girl on Fort Peck Reservation (6/24)
Non-Indian charged for trespassing at Nambe Pueblo in New Mexico (6/24)
St. Croix Chippewa Tribe warned not to launch marijuana operation (6/24)
Eastern Shawnee Tribe breaks ground on $34M expansion at casino (6/24)
Non-Indian gaming firm loses challenge to law for new tribal casino (6/24)
Grand Ronde Tribes to finish demolition work at site of old racetrack (6/24)
Supreme Court deadlocks in closely-watched tribal jurisdiction case (6/23)
Matthew Fletcher: 'Huge win' for Mississippi Choctaw court system (6/23)
Native American Basketball Invitational draws top talent to Arizona (6/23)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe almost done with long-awaited theater (6/23)
Susanville Rancheria thanks lawmakers for help with land-into-trust (6/23)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs schedules hearing on three bills (6/23)
Supreme Court backs affirmative action policy in long-running case (6/23)
Native Sun News: Senate committee takes on Indian Health Service (6/23)
Mark Trahant: A Republican plan to terminate Indian Health Service (6/23)
James Giago Davies: Welfare for corporations but nothing for tribes (6/23)
Peter d'Errico: Justice Clarence Thomas critiques federal Indian law (6/23)
Two charged for beating and setting woman from Crow Tribe on fire (6/23)
White House defends fracking regulation imposed on Indian lands (6/23)
Mescalero Apache woman hosts fundraiser for Miss United States (6/23)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to collect sales tax on entire reservation (6/23)
Seneca-Cayuga Nation ordered to conduct another council election (6/23)
Poarch Creek land-into-trust bill could help casino effort in Florida (6/23)
Cherokee Nation enters deal to run commercial casino in Arkansas (6/23)
Tohono O'odham Nation told to turn over casino-related documents (6/23)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee debates marijuana & sovereignty (6/22)
Major trust reform bill supported by Indian Country signed into law (6/22)
President Obama signs land-into-trust bill for Susanville Rancheria (6/22)
Chairman Jim Boyd from Colville Tribes passes away at age of 60 (6/22)
Tribes take more control of their land with HEARTH Act regulations (6/22)
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community adds another 128 acres (6/22)
Lakota Country Times: Pine Ridge Reservation graduates celebrate (6/22)
Native Sun News: Year of Reconciliation sees another anniversary (6/22)
Former Fond du Lac Band chairman Peter Defoe passes on at 77 (6/22)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.