Cayuga Nation triumphs in federal court

In the US state of New York and the Cayuga Nation have reportedly won a federal lawsuit that will allow it to continue operating its Lakeside Entertainment gambling-friendly development in perpetuity.

According to a report released Tuesday by the Courthouse News Service, the host community of Union Springs ordered the federally recognized tribe to shut down the class two facility in 2003 despite not being granted permits to build required. However, the Cayuga Nation took the case to court and argued that the 86 slot machine site did not need such permissions because it was on land that was traditionally part of the Band’s reserve. and therefore was legal under the principles of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Contested assertion:

During oral argument held in May, counsel for Union Springs David tennant would have tried to convince the three judges United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that the former Cayuga Nation reserve had “not been officially deleted” but that Lakeside entertainment now sitting on the earth ‘over which the tribe has no inherent sovereignty in whole or in part‘. He also allegedly claimed that a 2005 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States banned the group in upstate New York from unilaterally re-establishing sovereignty over plots it had lost but subsequently bought back.

Historical damage:

The new government of the United States would have granted a reservation to the Cayuga Nation in 1794 by the Treaty of Canandaigua although this land was subsequently purchased by the State of new York and unilaterally withdrawn from the tribe. But the group allegedly began to buy back this lost territory on the open market some 20 years ago with the intention of creating the Lakeside Entertainment facility, which union springs felt would contravene an ordinance of 1958 which prohibits local establishments from offering games of chance.

Overwhelming superiority:

In pronouncing the judgment, the judge Gerard Lynch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reportedly stated that federal laws rather than local laws govern the operation of gaming facilities on tribal lands and that Congress played no role in removing the former Cayuga Nation reservation. This decision, which echoed an earlier decision by the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, purportedly means that Lakeside Entertainment is located on Indigenous land and is therefore legal under the principles of the Indian Gaming Regulation Act.

Would have read the court judgment …

“United States neither ratified nor hindered these transactions. As important for current purposes, however, the village concedes that no act of Congress has removed the Cayuga reservation in the centuries that have followed.

Affirmation appreciated:

Clint Halftown (pictured) is the Chief of the Cayuga Nation and he reportedly told the Courthouse News Service the ruling represented a ‘big victory‘because he confirmed the right of his tribe to do business’free from local interference and discrimination.

A statement from Halftown would have read …

Sovereignty is the foundation of the relationship between the Native American nations recognized by the federal government as ours and the state and local governments with which we must interact. It is yet another affirmation of our sovereignty and the Cayuga Nation will continue to uphold its inherent rights against all attempts to interfere.

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