It’s been almost five years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Carcieri v. Salazar curbed the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for Indian tribes.
Now, Gale Courey Toensing reports at Indian Country Today Media Network, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is insisting her opposition to tribal gaming be addressed in efforts to fix laws that would clarify the secretary’s authority.
Feinstein noted that “there are more than 100 federally recognized tribes in California” and warned that “many more” tribes will seek recognition — and casinos — in the near future. “But what really sets California apart is the scale of the tribal gaming industry,” she said.
She also complained about what she calls “reservation shopping” by tribes in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Oregon ….
Michael Anderson of the Muscogee Nation and owner of Anderson Indian Law, told ICTMN the amount of land going into trust for gaming purposes has been minimal – 20 of 1,500 applications approved during the Obama administration – and that Feinstein’s prediction “that there’s going to be some kind of avalanche of new applications is overblown.”
Feinstein was testifying before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs at a Nov. 20 hearing called “Carcieri: Bringing Certainty to Trust Land Acquisitions.”
- Vince Devlin
Tags: Supreme Court