ICT on Gun Lake Band Fee to Trust Victory

From ICT:

BRADLEY, Mich. – The Interior Department has formally taken 147 acres of land into trust for the Gun Lake Tribe, ending a decade of opposition from an anti-Indian casino group.

Interior’s action took place Jan. 30; nine days after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition from Michigan Gaming Opposition (MichGO) challenging the interior’s authority to take land into trust.

A few days earlier, U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon tossed out a motion filed by former Wayland Township Trustee David Patchak, asking for a stay to stop the federal government from putting the tribe’s land into trust. Both actions were based on a highly controversial land into trust case – Carcieri vs. Narragansett – filed by the state of Rhode Island against the Narragansett Indian Tribe. Carcieri questions the interior secretary’s authority to take land into trust and whether land can be taken into trust for tribes that were not recognized in 1934, the year of the Indian Reorganization Act.

The two legal actions end any ambiguity about Gun Lake’s legal ability to move forward with its planned $200 million casino.

The tribe issued a press release with the exuberant headline “In land we trust.”
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Patchak v. Kempthorne TRO Oral Argument Transcript

Judge Leon ruled from the bench in this case on Monday, denying a TRO motion from Patchak, a member of 23 is Enough and MichGO (although he challenges that last part), to stop the trust acquisition of land in Allegan County for the Gun Lake Band.

Here is the transcript: patchak-v-kempthorne-transcript

Given the judge’s hostility toward Patchak’s attorney and legal positions, occasionally labeling them frivolous, one could argue (I suppose) that a Rule 11 motion could be in order. But I highly doubt that such a motion would be treated favorably by Judge Leon, who does not appear to suffer fools gladly.

Here are the pleadings.