Source: Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, IN)
- February 20, 2002
High court avoids U.S.-Miamis case
Sylvia A. Smith Washington editor
Supreme Court said Tuesday it won't get involved in a dispute between
Indiana's Miami Indian tribe and the federal government.
tribe, whose 2,500 members live in a swath from Fort Wayne to Lafayette,
has contended for years that the government improperly stripped it
of its status as an official tribe.
repeal was rejected by the secretary of the interior, the
tribe sued. Lower courts agreed with the government, and the Supreme
Court refused to hear the case.
other avenue is available to the tribe: Congress. An American Indian
tribe can ask Congress to pass a law recognizing it as an official
tribe. Rep. Mark Souder, R-4th, has frequently said he will do that
if the Miamis request it.
decade ago Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., was the main congressional champion of legislation
to recognize the Miamis as a tribe. But
he withdrew that support when he realized that recognition would
bring with it the right to operate gambling businesses in Indiana.
recognized tribes are eligible for various programs for housing,
economic development, job training, health
care and their lands are exempt from state taxes and other state
means they can open a gambling casino without any approval from the
state legislature or governor as long as the state allows gambling,
such as a lottery.
(c) 2002 The Journal Gazette
Record Number: 0F1D3D1FF944A274