Clint Halftown: Cayuga Nation faced little choice but to go to court

The LakeSide Entertainment facility in Union Springs, New York. Image from Google Maps

Clint Halftown, the federally-recognized leader of the Cayuga Nation, defends his tribe's right to engage in gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act:
Like Mayor Shattuck, we prefer to resolve disagreements without spending money on lawyers. For that reason, when the Village of Union Springs raised questions in 2013 about our gaming facility, we proposed that the parties enter into a “standstill agreement” pursuant to which each side agreed not to take legal action while an effort was made to resolve these issues amicably. In October 2014, however, legal counsel for the village advised us that it intended to renounce the standstill agreement and commence an enforcement action against the Nation. At that point, we had no choice but to defend our rights in court.

. . .

Finally, your suggestion that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in the Sherrill case bars the Nation from conducting gaming on its lands is false. That court ruling did not disestablish or diminish the Nation’s reservation. Further, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act expressly authorizes all Indian nations to conduct Class II gaming on their lands and it pre-empts any and all state and local laws to the contrary.

The Cayuga Nation is committed to pursuing a peaceful settlement of disagreements with its neighbors. While we will vigorously defend our rights in court when left with no other option, negotiation, not litigation, is our preferred method of dispute resolution.

Get the Story:
Clint Halftown: Cayugas prefer to stay out of court (The Auburn Citizen 6/8)

2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Cayuga Nation v. Tanner (June 2, 2016)

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Sherrill v. Oneida Nation:
Syllabus | Opinion [Ginsburg] | Concurrence [Souter] | Dissent [Stevens]

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