The U.S. Court of Appeals of the Seventh Circuit has ruled that Wisconsin must criminalize video poker before it can ban an American Indian tribe from engaging in it, the Associated Press reports. As a result, the Ho-Chunk Nation can offer video poker at its Madison casino because video poker is only a civil offense when establishments that serve alcohol possess them.
The U.S. Supreme Court, 5-4, has ruled that Michigan can't block an off-reservation American Indian casino from opening because of tribal sovereignity, the Associated Press reports: "The ruling was a win for Indian tribes, which have increasingly looked to casinos as a source of revenue and have relied on immunity to shield them from government interference. But it's a disappointment for Michigan and more than a dozen others states that say the decision will interfere with their ability to crack down on unauthorized tribal casinos."
The Guardian reports on U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments today in a case in which the state of Michigan argues that the Bay Mills Indian Community inappropriately opened an off-reservation casino without authorization of the federal government and in violation of a state agreement. Some of the justices took a skeptical view of the position that tribal sovereignity gives extra protection against closing the casino or other action by Michigan. Justice Stephen Breyer, for one, said, "My belief is Indian tribes all over the country, operate businesses off the reservation, and businesses all over the country are regulated. And does the State, I guess, in your view not have the power to enforce the regulation against the Indian tribe?" The Guardian reported.
Nonprofit Quarterly reports that many American Indian legal practitioners are finding that “'basically any issue headed for the Supreme Court is probably not going to be decided in favor of the tribes.”' Their advice? Avoid going to the U.S. Supreme Court if at all possible. The other strategy is make the cases as strong as possible: the Native American Rights Fund and the National Congress of American Indians have created the Tribal Supreme Court Project to work up cases before going to the highest court in the land.
In December, the Supreme Court will hear a case about the interpretation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. My prior post on that case: http://www.cultivatedcompendium.com/news/us-supreme-court-set-hear-argum...
A plaintiff's lawyer argues that there was no protection for his client, who worked for an American Indian casino, from allegedly being "repeatedly subjected to offensive and explicit conduct based on race, sex and national origin, including being 'dry humped' by his supervisor, having KKK photos emailed to him, being called a Nazi, being given the 'Heil Hitler' salute, having to hear about his supervisor’s sexual acts and hearing customers being racially denigrated," according to this piece in the San Francisco Examiner. Any sovereign nation sets its own rules on what protection should be given from discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability and other characteristics, and the attorney argues against "using the concept of national sovereignty to deny people their basic rights to safety and fair treatment. Ironically, Native Americans, themselves the subject of genocide and centuries of state-sponsored discrimination and civil-rights abuse, exempt themselves from adhering to any legal protections against discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, etc."
The U.S. Supreme Court is slated to hear arguments December 2 in the case of an off-reservation casino in Michigan that is opposed by the state, the Petoskey News reported. The justices will consider whether a state can challenge a tribe’s right to open a casino if the state contends the gaming facility is on land that doesn't qualify as tribal land, Indian Country Today reported this summer: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/07/03/reservation-tribal-...