Tribes closely watching Big Lagoon Rancheria casino land dispute

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

Tribes across the nation, as well as the Obama administration, are paying close attention to Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California, an Indian gaming case that will be reheard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals next month.

An en banc panel of the court will determine whether the Big Lagoon Rancheria can pursue a casino on land that was placed in trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1994. Tribes, tribal organizations and the Department of Justice have submitted briefs in hopes of preventing land acquisitions from being challenged long after they have been finalized.

“The majority’s ruling in this case would open the door to time-barred lawsuits, allowing parties to litigate the validity of decades-old trust acquisitions and challenge the United States’ property interest in these lands,” DOJ attorneys wrote in a brief.

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.

Get the Story:
Bracing for Impact: Millions of Tribal Acres at Stake in Upcoming Court Ruling (Indian Country Today 8/27)

Oral Arguments from the Indianz.Com SoundCloud

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

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9th Circuit sets oral arguments in Big Lagoon Rancheria dispute (8/27)

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