Archive for April 24, 2012
A case before the Supreme Court today involves federal interests, Native American interests, the interests of private citizens, and the importance of established law. It deals also with the question of what to do when one law contradicts another. How are these factors to be weighed?
The case may seem like a typical lawyer’s nitpicking attempt to get around established law. But it has implications for individual rights, for Native American rights, for the relationship between the federal government and Indian tribes — and for the rights of individuals to sue the government to stop the actions of regulatory agencies.
Today, the Court hears arguments questioning the federal government’s attempt to put some land in trust. The land was purchased by an Indian tribe in Michigan, for the purpose of building a casino. The tribe had asked the government to hold the land for that purpose. The suit was brought by a private citizen in an effort to stop the casino, who alleged that the Band’s proposed gaming facility would destroy the peace and quiet of his community, create pollution, and increase crime. (more…)