Tribe and feds challenge court decision over casino lands
Published Thursday, December 8, 2016
MASHPEE, Mass. (AP) — An Indian tribe is appealing a decision that's halted its plans for a nearly $1 billion casino.
The Mashpee Wampanoag tribe and the U.S. Department of Interior on Thursday filed notice in Boston federal appeals court that they're challenging a July ruling that the department lacked the authority to place more than 300 acres in Taunton and Mashpee into trust for the tribe last year.
The tribe broke ground on its Taunton casino in April even though residents sued to stop it, arguing the federal government could take land into trust only for tribes officially recognized as of June 1, 1934.
The Mashpee Wampanoags were officially recognized in 2007.