HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveVolume 19Issue 23Michigan AG Files Petitioner's Brief in Bay Mills Tribal Casino Case

On Friday, August 30, 2013, the State of Michigan, through state Attorney General Bill Schuette, filed its Petitioner’s Brief with the United States Supreme Court in the matter involving the Bay Mills Indian Community’s (“Bay Mills Tribe”) Vanderbilt casino.  The Bay Mills Tribe had opened a casino in Vanderbilt, Michigan in November, 2010 on land that was approximately 125 miles south of its reservation land located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  The casino was closed following the entry of a preliminary injunction by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan in March, 2011.  The Bay Mills Tribe then appealed this decision to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which reversed the decision of the District Court last August.  The State of Michigan has now appealed the Sixth Circuit’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case, which could very well set significant precedent in the area of Indian gaming throughout the United States, will review two issues: (1) whether a federal court has jurisdiction to enjoin activity that violates the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (“IGRA”) but takes place outside of Indian lands; and (2) whether tribal sovereign immunity bars a state from suing in federal court to enjoin a tribe from violating IGRA outside of Indian lands.

The Bay Mills Tribe will answer the arguments of the State of Michigan by way of its Respondent’s Brief, which must be filed on or before October 24, 2013.  Many court observers believe that this matter could be heard as early as December, and decided by the end of the Court's 2013-14 term.     

The docket report for this case can be viewed at the following link: http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/12-515.htm

 

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