Attorney general shifts tactics in Lansing casino case

Jun 5, 2014

As expected, Michigan’s attorney general has dropped an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to block a Lansing casino project.

But the legal fight is far from finished.

The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians is proposing a $245 million dollar casino in downtown Lansing
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians is proposing a $245 million dollar casino in downtown Lansing
Credit Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the state of Michigan could not sue the Bay Mills tribe to block it from operating a casino located off its reservation. The court ruled that the tribe has sovereign immunity.

The state was using the same legal strategy in an appeal in a case involving a proposed Lansing casino.

This week, the attorney general’s office formally withdrew that appeal seeking to reinstate an injunction.

An attorney for the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians welcomed the attorney general’s decision.

But that’s not the end. The case returns to a federal district court, where the state plans to focus on suing tribal officials, claiming they are violating a state gaming compact.

Meanwhile, a tribal spokesman says they “remain confident” in their legal position and plan to move forward with their Lansing casino project.