February’s U.S. Supreme Court Carcieri decision that says that tribes recognized after 1934 can’t put land into federal trust has opened up a can of worms that most gaming tribes would like to close. Tribes are urging Congress to “fix” the decision. However, many of the states that have gaming tribes are not at all unhappy with the decision. Seventeen state attorneys general recently asked Congress to act slowly, and to include them in its deliberations.
They recently sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and the House Resources Committee.
“The undersigned believe it would not be in the best interests of all stakeholders, both Indian and non-Indian, to rush a legislative fix and to ignore legitimate state and local interests,” they wrote.
Congress could easily amend the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act by changing just a few words that would bring it into line with 75 years of actions that have been taken by the Department of the Interior.
The Carcieri ruling applied to 31 acres owned by the Narragansett Indian Tribe of Rhode Island, but Indians fear, and some states hope, that it applies to a lot more than that.