WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says Michigan can’t block the opening of an American Indian casino.
The high court on Monday disagreed with state officials who want to shutter the Bay Mills Indian Community’s casino about 90 miles south of its Upper Peninsula reservation. Michigan argues that the tribe opened the casino in 2010 without permission from the U.S. government and in violation of a state compact.
A federal judge agreed and issued an injunction ordering the casino closed in 2011. But the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals threw the injunction out after ruling that the court lacked jurisdiction over some claims and that the tribe also has sovereign immunity.
The Supreme Court said in 5-4 ruling that the state’s lawsuit against the casino is barred by tribal sovereign immunity.