Casino Stalker | Litigation
Michigan sues Sault Tribe to block off-reservation casino plan

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed suit against the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians in hopes of stopping an off-reservation casino.

The tribe has yet to secure land for the $245 million casino in Lansing. But Schuette claims the project violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and the Class III gaming compact.

“Certainly, we expected all along that the principal legal challenge would come from the state,” tribal attorney John Wernet told The Lansing State Journal. “We all along fully expected a legal challenge — that was in fact a specific part of our planning — and we have all the confidence in the world that we will successfully defend the project.”

The tribe is in the process of acquiring two properties for a total of $1.24 million, the paper reported. The deal must close by November 1.

The land is being purchased with funds from the Michigan Indian Land Claims Settlement Act. As a result, the tribe believes the Bureau of Indian Affairs will be mandated to place the land in trust.

Schuette's lawsuit follows a similar one in which the state sued the Bay Mills Indian Community for opening an off-reservation casino. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the case last month due to the tribe's sovereign immunity.

The Bay Mills Indian Community is also arguing that it purchased the land for the casino with settlement funds. The 6th Circuit did not rule on that claim.

Turtle Talk has posted documents from the new case, Michigan v. Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Get the Story:
Schuette sues to stop Lansing casino proposal (The Lansing State Journal 9/11)
Michigan's Attorney General files suit to block proposed Lansing casino (Michigan Radio 9/10)
Bill Schuette Sues Sault Tribe Over Lansing Casino (WILX-TV 9/10)
Report: Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette files suit in federal court to stop proposed Lansing casino (MLive 9/10)

Related Stories:
Column: Soo Tribe cites land claim in off-reservation casino bid (08/13)