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Opinion: Shinnecock Nation recognition a long shot

"Just in time for summer in the Hamptons, a small, poor Indian tribe of uncertain legal status has this fabled beach resort in a tizzy. The 500-member Shinnecock tribe recently claimed 3,600 acres of Southampton, including the local college and the exclusive Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, site of last year's U.S. Open.

And if the Shinnecock don't get what they want, they've threatened to sue for every single hedge row, pool and tennis court in this rich man's town! What, you may ask, is the ultimate goal of the land claim besides pissing off the neighbors? The Shinnecock hope the lawsuit will persuade the State of New York to permit them to build a giant casino on the narrow South Fork of Long Island and thereby become Hamptons-wealthy.

Amusing as many aspects of this story are -- greedy Indians versus endangered plutocrats -- it's actually quite serious. If the Shinnecock prevail and get a casino, they could cause "irreparable damage" to the community, according to a federal judge overseeing aspects of this contest. A casino could easily attract another 25,000 people a day to this tony town of 57,000 full-time residents. And from a national perspective, if the Shinnecock can roll such powerful homeowners as billionaire George Soros, who has a Southampton palace-by-the-sea, who knows what other less affluent towns and villages across the country could be buffaloed by wannabe casino tribes?"

Get the Story:
Hamptonites on the Warpath (The Wall Street Journal 6/30)

Relevant Links:
Shinnecock Nation -

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Column: Shinnecock Nation only seeks a future (6/20)
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Tribe's lawsuit claims pricey Hamptons properties (6/17)
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Shinnecock Nation takes land claim papers to court (6/16)
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Shinnecock Nation to file billion-dollar land claim (6/13)
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Ties between Shinnecock Nation, golf club tested (06/11)
BIA doesn't want judge to rule on Shinnecock Nation (04/27)
Editorial: Shinnecock Nation deserves an answer (04/02)
House panel sympathetic to tribes on recognition (04/01)
Hearing used to air complaints about tribal recognition (04/01)
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Judge to have 'final word' on Shinnecock recognition (01/28)
Shinnecock Nation case tests legal waters (1/26)
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BIA wants Shinnecocks to wait a decade for status (12/18)
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