Here is today’s opinion.
This case illustrates the nuances of our federalist system of government, pitting Indian tribe against Indian tribe, and State and local governments against the federal government and an Indian tribe. The City of Glendale and various other parties (“Glendale”) seek to set aside the Department of the Interior’s decision to accept in trust, for the benefit of the Tohono O’odham Nation (“the Nation”), a 54-acre parcel of land known as Parcel 2. The Nation hopes to build a destination resort and casino on Parcel 2, which is unincorporated county land, entirely surrounded by the City of Glendale. To say this plan has been controversial is an understatement. But the strong feelings and emotional drama of the casino fight do not dictate the outcome here. This appeal relates only to the status of the land as trust land and does not involve the particulars of Indian gaming, which are the subject of separate proceedings and pending legislation. The district court granted summary judgment for the government after concluding that the Secretary of the Interior reasonably applied the Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Act (“Gila Bend Act”), and that the Act did not violate the Indian Commerce Clause or the Tenth Amendment. We affirm.
Lower court materials here.