Michigan tribe's SCOTUS case could have far-reaching effects

Dec 2, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a Michigan case whose outcome could influence state-tribal relationships across the country.
Credit flickr/cometstarmoon

The U.S. Supreme Court  will hear oral arguments today in a Michigan case with potential repercussions for other states as well.   It involves Indian tribal rights and casino operations.

For three years, Michigan’s Bay Mills tribe has been in a legal battle with the state over its casino north of Gaylord.  A decision last year by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court upheld the legality of the establishment, but it triggered an appeal by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.  Now, in the case to be heard by nation’s highest court, the Bay Mills tribe says it’s entitled to sovereign immunity from lawsuits filed by the state.

The high court’s decision, expected next year, will ultimately impact the continued expansion of casino gambling in many states, including Michigan -- either by restricting or expanding – where casinos may be built.

Current State’s Mark Bashore speaks with the Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta  in Washington about today’s arguments and the background of the case.