After losing its federal appeal against the opening of the planned Ilani Casino Resort in July, the Confederated Tribes Of The Grand Ronde Community Of Oregon has revealed that it now intends to take its opposition all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
The $510 million Ilani Casino Resort is being built by the rival Cowlitz Tribe near the town of La Center, Washington, and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2017 offering 2,500 slots and 80 gaming tables alongside 15 restaurants, bars and retail stores as well as a 2,500-seat meeting and entertainment venue.
According to a report from the Statesman Journal newspaper, the Confederated Tribes Of The Grand Ronde Community Of Oregon operates the Spirit Mountain Casino some 88 miles away from the planned new casino resort and lost an action brought before the United States Circuit Court Of Appeals For The District Of Columbia on July 29.
“The [Grand Ronde Tribal Council] has made the decision to approve an appeal to the United States Supreme Court,” Rob Greene, an attorney for the Confederated Tribes Of The Grand Ronde Community Of Oregon, told the newspaper.
The Oregon tribe explained that it intends to argue that the Cowlitz Tribe, which established its reservation in southwestern Washington in 2010, should not be given permission to operate the Ilani Casino Resort due to the 2009 ruling from the United States Supreme Court in the case of Carcieri v Salazar. This landmark decision stipulated that only tribes that had been federally recognized at the time of the passage of the Indian Reorganization Act in 1934 could receive land-into-trust decisions from the Bureau Of Indian Affairs.
“Speaking for myself, I support requesting the United States Supreme Court to consider the case,” Tonya Gleason-Shepek, a member of the Grand Ronde Tribal Council, told the Statesman Journal. “It isn’t entirely about fighting another tribe. I am also interested in having a clarifying United States Supreme Court Carcheri decision. This would be good for all Indian country.”
The Confederated Tribes Of The Grand Ronde Community Of Oregon earlier estimated that the opening of the Ilani Casino Resort could see it lose up to 41% of its annual revenues as the new venue from the Cowlitz Tribe would be only 25 miles from Oregon’s largest city, Portland, while its own Spirit Mountain Casino lies about 60 miles from the urban area’s over 632,000 people.