Monday, March 21, 2011


Cowlitz casino lawsuit is first test of Supreme Court decision
Monday, March 21, 2011 Filed

Indian Country is paying close attention to a new lawsuit aimed at stopping the Cowlitz Tribe of Washington from building a casino.

The tribe gained federal recognition in 2000. But in a record of decision, the Bureau of Indian Affairs said the tribe was "under federal jurisdiction" in 1934.

The finding is significant because it's first time the BIA addressed issues raised by the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Carcieri v. Salazar. The Cowlitz are now a "poster child" for the case, Chairman William Iyall said.

“There are a lot of other tribes in the United States that will be relying on this issue,” Iyall told The Columbian.

The case is expected to take at least two years to resolve. Opponents of the casino hope it ends up before the Supreme Court.

“This case has all the ingredients of a case that the Supreme Court would take, and that’s about all any lawyer could say,” Guy Martin, an attorney for one of the plaintiffs, told the paper.


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