The petition is here.
Here is the petition:
Better pdf here: Michigan v Bay Mills Cert Petition
1. Whether a federal court has jurisdiction to enjoin activity that violates IGRA but takes place outside of Indian lands.
2. Whether tribal sovereign immunity bars a state from suing in federal court to enjoin a tribe from violating IGRA outside Indian lands.
Sixth Circuit materials here.
My earlier views on why this petition isn’t going anywhere are here. I would add now that since Bay Mills, as I understand it, hasn’t re-opened the casino, and since the State filed an amended complaint way back when, there doesn’t seem to be much pressure to grant this particular petition. Also, if this is really an IGRA fight over an allegedly illegal casino, it’s really the federal government’s fight. In fact, NIGC already referred the matter to the federal prosecutors … a while back. Michigan is trumping up an alleged compact violation that might not even exist. There might be a compact violation, or not, but the State in its petition doesn’t even point to which provision in the compact BMIC is violating (maybe they did, but I didn’t see it).
Bay Mills has a reservation located on tribal land in the Upper Peninsula’s Chippewa County on the eastern end of Lake Superior.
In 2010, the tribe used earnings from a land settlement trust to purchase 40 acres of land in Vanderbilt, a tiny town just north of Gaylord that’s located more than 100 miles south of the tribe’s main reservation.
The Michigan Indian Land Claims Settlement Act says that land acquired with funds from a land trust “shall be held as Indian lands are held.” So Bay Mills used that language as legal authority to open a small casino in November 2010 in Vanderbilt. Continue reading
A written statement from Bay Mills Chair Kurt Perron says the tribe ultimately plans legal victory, and to move forward with its “planned developments.” The tribe did not immediate elaborate on the statement’s meaning.
If Bay Mills is ultimately victorious, the tribe would likely be allowed to build casinos anywhere it wants, without state approval, as long as it buys the land with a specific pool of funds.
“Probably the biggest implication (of today’s ruling) in the long run is just to highlight exactly how difficult it is to shut down a casino opened by an Indian tribe under these circumstances,” says Matthew Fletcher, of MSU’s Indigenous Law Center.
The Vanderbilt Casino is widely regarded as a test site for its Upper Peninsula owner. The tribe has expressed interest in building in Port Huron, and perhaps elsewhere.
It’s not clear what implications this case might have for another Upper Peninsula tribe’s plans to build a casino in downtown Lansing.