The nation’s highest court has agreed to decide whether the state can challenge a tribe’s right to open a casino in the northern Michigan town of Vanderbilt.
The U.S. Supreme Court accepted the case today, which will place it on the docket for the upcoming term.
The issue is whether state Attorney General Bill Schuette has the legal standing to challenge the casino. The Bay Mills Indian tribe says he does not – that the Vanderbilt property is part of the tribe’s independent territory purchased with money from a land settlement with the federal government.
Bay Mills says what’s at stake here is the tribe’s sovereignty and right to conduct its own affairs.
Schuette says what’s at stake is Michigan’s ability to manage the proliferation of casinos within its borders.
Schuette won an early round in federal court, but the most recent ruling, from the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, sided with tribe.
The Vanderbilt Casino remains closed while courts sort out the issue.