From the notice (read the notice for other details):
The Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians (Gun Lake Tribe) is seeking three (3) Appellate Justices to serve as the Court of Appeals body of the Tribe. The authority of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi/Gun Lake Tribal Court of Appeals is defined by Gun Lake Tribal Judicial Ordinance. The Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to hear all appeals arising from Tribal Court decisions or proceedings.
The Court of Appeals shall consist of three (3) Justices, each appointed by majority vote of the Tribal Council at a meeting at which a required quorum plus one additional Tribal Council member is present. At least two (2) of those Justices shall be attorneys who are or have been licensed to practice law before the courts of a state in the United States and who have not been disbarred from practicing law in any tribal, federal, or state court, provided, however, that if a person has been disbarred but later reinstated, such person shall be eligible. The other Justice shall be either a registered voter of the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians or an attorney who is, or has been, licensed to practice law before the courts of a state in the United States and who has not been disbarred from practicing law in any tribal, federal, or state court, provided, however, that if a person has been disbarred but later reinstated, such person shall be eligible. No Court of Appeals Justice may sit simultaneously as a Tribal Court Judge. Each Court of Appeals Justice shall be at least twenty-five (25) years of age.
Here (we’re from Wayland, which now for the first time ever seems to like Indians, mostly). An excerpt:
Zeke Fletcher, a 1998 graduate of Wayland High School, now is owner of his Lansing law firm and counsel to the Gun Lake Band of Potowatamis.
The owner of Fletcher Law PLLC and formerly a partner at Rosette, LLP and an associate at Honigman, Miller, Schwartz & Cohn, he earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan in 2003 and his juris doctor law degree at the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2006.
While at Wayland, Fletcher earned fame as a top-notch golfer and was individual Class B state co-champion for the Wildcats in the fall of 1997, carding an 18-hole score of 74 in the finals match.
PHOTO: Zeke Fletcher, legal counsel for the Gun Lake Tribe, relaxes and listens to proceedings at a recent Hopkins Township Board meeting.
A decision this week by the U.S. Supreme Court is seen as a setback for Indian tribes. The case involves the Gun Lake Tribe and its casino near Grand Rapids.
A neighbor is suing saying the casino is lowering property values and ruining the neighborhood.
As tribal attorneys see it, the Court opened a way for just about anyone to challenge the legitimacy of tribal lands. Land taken into trust by the federal over the last several years is especially vulnerable.
Matthew Fletcher is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. He’s attorney and professor of law at Michigan State University.
And he tells IPR the decision is seen as a big set-back in Indian Country.
Asked if there is any lemonade to the lemon of a decision from the high court, Fletcher said, “Lemonade? Sotomayor is Indian country’s best friend. Read the three consequences part of her dissent and you can see she actually gets it. She understands the consequences of these decisions. She gets it more than any other Justice in Supreme Court history. And that’s a fact.”
Sotomayor’s first point of dissent is that the Quiet Title Act clearly states that the right to sue the federal government in property disputes “does not apply to trust or restricted lands.” The exception, Sotomayor says, reflects the view that a waiver of immunity is inconsistent with treaty commitments and other agreements with the tribes. By exempting Indian lands, Congress ensured that the government’s “‘solemn obligations” to tribes would not be “abridged’ without their consent. Her second argument is that the QTA provides for the preservation of the government’s right to retain possession or control of property even if a court rules that the government’s property claim is invalid. This provision ensures that a negative court ruling would not interfere with government operations. Sotomayor’s third point is the QTA limits the class of individuals who are allowed to sue the government to those with a “right, title or interest” in the property.
Here is the press release:
Photo courtesy Gun Lake Tribe.
Here are the details.
View full sizeShawano Cleary | Special to the Kalamazoo GazetteBob Ely, of Ace Steel and his partner, Riley Beight, work on the Gun Lake Casino in Wayland Township last week.
WAYLAND TOWNSHIP — Cooperative weather up until mid-December allowed work crews constructing the Gun Lake Casino in Wayland Township to get a bit ahead of schedule on the 83,000-square-foot facility.
View full sizeHandout photo.Artist rendering of the exterior of the planned Gun Lake CasinoThe foundation has been laid and steel beams are being installed on the $157 million casino — less than half the size originally planned— off Exit 61 on U.S. 131, halfway between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo on the former Ampro Products factory site. It is scheduled to open at the end of this summer. Continue reading
From mlive via Pechanga.net:
Rendering courtesy Gun Lake TribeThe exterior of the new Gun Lake Casino in Wayland