Supreme Court Sides With Tribe in Surprising Ruling
In 2010, the Bay Mills Indian Community, a tribe in Michigan, opened a casino outside of its reservation in the small rural town of Vanderbilt. It did so without placing the land in question into trust by the federal government, a prerequisite to gaming. The state of Michigan sued the Bay Mills Indian Community, but the tribe held that the Michigan suit didn’t have merit because of its tribal sovereignty immunity. Tribes have immunity from lawsuits unless they otherwise consent. Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, which—to the surprise of many observers—ruled in the tribe’s favor.