Tohono O'odham Nation Gets Favorable Ruling From U. S. District Court Judge; Glendale Cannot Forcibly Annex Nation's Land

Categories: Wild, Wild West
Thumbnail image for West Valley Resort.jpg
An artist's rendering of the Tohono O'odham Nation's West Valley Resort.
​The Tohono O'odham Nation was victorious again after a U.S. District Court judge declared unconstitutional a law allowing Glendale to annex the nation's property.
 
It's the latest in a series of decisions that have gone in favor of the Nation, which plans to build a resort-style casino near Westgate City Center, Glendale's slumping entertainment district.


The law, signed by Governor Jan Brewer in February, would have allowed a city to annex land without the owner's approval if that owner asked the feds to take ownership of property or take it into trust. (Taking land into trust for an Indian nation is effectively creating a reservation for that tribe.)
 
Creating the law was part of a strategy by state and local leaders, as well as leaders from other tribes, to derail the casino project. Read more about why they oppose the Nation's plans at www.keepingthepromiseaz.com.
 
U.S. District Judge David Campbell ruled that H.B. 2534, the annexation law, also violated federal law because its "clear purpose and effect would be to block [the Department of Interior] from taking the land into trust, contrary to the express command of Congress."
 
Read "Wanna Bet?" a New Times feature that details the Tohono O'odham Nation's history and why Congress created a law that allows them to move into the West Valley, just on the edge of Glendale. 
 
From a press release issued by the Nation:
 
In addition to four favorable court rulings, federal and regional agencies have found in the Nation's favor on three other occasions. These repeated findings for the Nation are clear evidence that Glendale and other opponents are using the courts in their misguided efforts to delay this important economic development project. 

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12 comments
ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Gambling was a common form of entertainment in pre-European invasion America.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Not a peep in the Glendale papers about the City being found to have acted unconstitutionally!

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

What's family-unfriendly about Indian casinos? Aging 70s rock stars performing on stage?  Will Glendale families be forced to gamble? To eat casino food? Come on Glendale, enjoy the delicious irony of Native Americans making money off the dominant culture's vices. It's not like they're selling smallpox-infested blankets or anything like that.

Johnny Skee Mask
Johnny Skee Mask

Wow, it's a flawless victory for the tribe and a big black eye to the Republicans.

Albert
Albert

Just wait..... Look what Tom Horne said.. Attorney General Tom Horne vowed an appeal."I am personally outraged that the federal government is forcing a city to become another Las Vegas when it prefers to be a family-friendly city," he said. "We will spare no effort to fight this case as far as we have to." 

Hmm... where did they find the money to fight this? And All the other illegal legislation this legislature has passed over the last year and a half. Didn't Tom Horne swear to protect and uphold the US Constitution, and the Arizona Constitution?  Well, the Arizona Law is invalid, the Federal Law is good.  U.S. Constitution reserves for the United States Congress at least some degree of exclusive power "to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes" (Article I, § 8). I'm hopping that the O'odham Nation can begin construction as soon as they want. Really, how more  appeals are left? This is the reason why Glendale had to scrap the fireworks this year.    Let them build!!!

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

Build it in Westgate Center and let the whatever tribe annex them.

Native Guns
Native Guns

Are the Republipukes "unconstitutional"?

"You betcha!"

Apparently, as of late, it seems that the AZ's GOPsucking Party has become the mere savage on the basis of being "unconstitutional" on several fronts lately. Hypothetically, making one to question their stance on "the rule of law". And their principles? Without question. Not to mention russell pearce trying to rewrite or undo the U.S. Constitution in wake of the abhorrent SB1070 atrocity.

Personally, I don't support every Tribal Nation having a casino within their jurisdiction. But I got give the O'odham Nation some credit on this one. To discredit and withstand the oppressive Republican powers that be. These guys fought back tooth and nail. I guess its only fair to say that the West Valley Repugs underestimated the legal Tribal strategies of a First Nation. It's a modern day Custer's last stand.

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

And they (the republicons) don't have a clue about just how Un- American their ideology is.

teknik1200
teknik1200

Not to mention they are pretty intrusive for so called "small government" types.  I'd hate to see Brewer and Pierce's definition of a large government.

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