Massachusetts Tribe keeping eye on Cowlitz Case

Today marks a year since Clark County and other plaintiffs filed a challenge in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. over the decision to allow the Cowlitz Tribe to take land into trust.

Attorneys are awaiting an initial scheduling conference on Feb. 10 before U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts, during which attorneys will agree on a timeline for how the case will proceed.

Local residents aren’t the only ones eager for the case to get going.

Other tribes are watching including the Mashpee Wampanoag of Massachusetts.

As a reporter from The Boston Globe writes, “the Department of Interior has decided to test the boundaries of the Supreme Court decision, by approving an application to take 152 acres into trust for the Cowlitz tribe of Washington State, which plans to build a gambling resort in partnership with the operators of the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. The Cowlitz won federal recognition in 2000.”

“The 2010 land-in-trust decision for the Cowlitz was immediately challenged in federal court by local county and municipal officials, in what could be an important test case.”

“The suit has not yet reached trial and a decision could be long off, according to a spokeswoman for the government of Clark County, Washington, the lead plaintiff.”

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