The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe is applauding a major victory for the Cowlitz tribe today over Indian casino opponents in Washington State.
The Cowlitz Tribe has been working to bring a casino to its tribal land for several years and has faced stiff opposition from several groups.
Today, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition to review a lower court decision that upheld the U.S. Department of Interior's authority to take land into trust on behalf of the tribe, rebuffing a series of legal challenges filed by tribal casino opponents.
“The U.S. Supreme Court's decision blazes a trail forward for Mashpee,” said Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council Chairman Cedric Cromwell. “The challenges to the Department's decision to place land into trust for the Cowlitz Tribe are now over.”
Today’s Supreme Court decision is seen as a positive development for the $1 billion First Light Resort & Casino, which has faced similar challenges.
“The time to cut the red tape is here,” Chairman Cromwell said. “We are ready to deliver thousands of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in critical traffic infrastructure improvements, and hundreds of millions of dollars toward urban renewal.”