9th Circuit sets oral arguments in Big Lagoon Rancheria dispute

An aerial view of the Big Lagoon Rancheria in northern California. Image from Google Maps

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will rehear Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California, an Indian gaming case that's being closely watched throughout Indian Country, next month.

The Big Lagoon Rancheria accused the state of California of negotiating in bad faith for a Class III gaming compact. The state responded by attacking the status of land that was placed in trust for the tribe in 1994.

By a vote of 2-1, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit held that the tribe could not pursue the casino due to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar. The 9th Circuit determined that the tribe was not "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934.

The tribe asked the court to reconsider. The 9th Circuit agreed to convene an en banc panel of 11 judges to rehear the case.

Tribes across the nation are supporting the Big Lagoon Rancheria. They fear it will open the doors to even more litigation over trust land acquisitions that were finalized years, or even decades, ago.

The rehearing will take place at 10am on September 17 in San Francisco, California. Turtle Talk has posted documents from the case, Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California.

Oral arguments from the original hearing can be found on the Indianz.Com SoundCloud.

9th Circuit Decision:
Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California (January 21, 2014)

Related Stories:
Patrick Sullivan: Indian Country watches Big Lagoon casino suit (06/27)
9th Circuit to reconsider Big Lagoon Rancheria gaming dispute (06/12)

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