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Supreme Court Back Away from Tribal Sovereignty Case

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seemed wary of making any changes to tribal sovereignty laws as it considered whether Michigan can permanently block an American Indian casino. Justices heard arguments Monday from state officials who want to shutter the Bay Mills Indian Community’s casino about 90 miles south of its Upper Peninsula reservation.

Michigan argues that the tribe opened the casino in 2010 without permission from the U.S. government and in violation of a state compact. The lower courts say they don’t have jurisdiction over parts of this argument, and that the tribe also has sovereign immunity.

Michigan Solicitor General John Bursch says that if Michigan could sue a foreign country for opening an illegal business on state land, they should be able to sue to stop the casino.

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