Tribe still seeking casino in Lordstown: Plan awaits Obama policies
AMANDA SMITH-TEUTSCH / Tribune Chronicle POSTED:
LORDSTOWN - While renewing its option to purchase a tract of land in Lordstown to build a casino resort, a Native American tribe put the project on hold while waiting to see what new policies come from the Obama administration.
President Obama said he is undertaking a careful and diligent review of many policies related to Native Americans.
''It means the tribe is very interested in doing something with the project,'' Casey said.
The land claim the tribe has in Lordstown is not as strong as in other parts of the state, he said, ''but they remain interested in doing that project.''
statements came Wednesday, just days after a U.S.
Supreme Court ruling gave state more rights to regulate tribal activity. Mason
Morisset, the Seattle-based lawyer who represents the
U.S. Supreme Court limited the federal government's authority to hold land in
trust for Indian tribes, a victory for
The U.S. government argued that the law allows it to take land into trust for tribes regardless of when they were recognized, but Justice Clarence Thomas said in his majority opinion that the law ''unambiguously refers to those tribes that were under the federal jurisdiction'' when it was enacted.
ruling comes in a case involving the Rhode Island-based Narragansett Indian
Tribe and a 31-acre tract of land that the tribe purchased in rural
At issue was whether the land should be subject to state law, including a prohibition on casino gambling, or whether the parcel should be governed by tribal and federal law.
Morisset and Casey both said they expected legislative action if the Supreme Court ruling was held to have a broad application that might have impacted existing tribal businesses.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.