Jamul Action Committee
Jamul Action Committee Jamul Action Committee

Legal Update September 25, 2021

Supreme Court Conference Alert

There is a very important Supreme Court Conference scheduled for Monday, September 27, 2021. The Supreme Court is scheduled to determine whether to grant certiorari or not. We hope and pray for a favorable decision and we would appreciate your best thoughts and prayers regarding this matter!

There is an important Supreme Court Conference scheduled for Monday, September 27, 2021!!!

As most of you will recall, in August 2014, the Jamul Action Committee (JAC), several of its members, and the Jamul Community Church initiated litigation challenging the approval and construction of a Las Vegas style Indian casino in our community. JAC argued that the approval of the new casino violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 (IRA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Equal Protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately, the Courts denied JAC’s request for injunctive relief to stop the construction of the casino until the federal agency complied with NEPA and prepared an Environmental Impact Statement for the casino project. As a result, the Hollywood Jamul Casino was built and opened in 2016 without any comprehensive environmental review.

Despite this setback on the NEPA claim, JAC proactively litigated the other claims over the next four years including three appeals to the Ninth Circuit. On September 8, 2020, the Ninth Circuit issued its final decision but did not decide the merits of the IGRA, IRA or Equal protection claims. Instead, the Ninth Circuit held that JAC's lawsuit was barred by the JIV’s claim of tribal immunity. According to Supreme Court precedent, tribal immunity is limited to historic tribes that pre-existed the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1789. The JIV is obviously not an historic tribe. Nor is it entitled to tribal immunity. Instead, it organized itself, at the urging of the BIA, in 1981 as a half-blood quantum, Indian community. Thus the Ninth Circuit’s decision that the JIV was entitled to tribal immunity was clearly wrong. Consequently, JAC decided to seek Supreme Court review of that decision.

JAC filed its petition with the Supreme Court on April 21, 2021. The United States and the other respondents waived their right to file an opposition to JAC’s petition on June 9, 2021. This was a tactical decision on their part, done with the hope that the Supreme Court would quickly deny JAC’s petition before it adjourned for the summer on June 30, 2021. But this tactic did not work. Instead on June 23, 2021, the Supreme Court distributed our petition to all the Justices for consideration at the Conference scheduled for September 27, 2021. At that conference the Supreme Court will likely decide whether or not to grant or deny JAC’s petition for certiorari. In the alternative, the Supreme Court could postpone any decision and direct the respondents to respond to the petition. Also the Supreme Court could quickly decide the merits of JAC’s petition and remand the case.

Please support JAC with your donation to our legal fund. Please send your donations to:
P.O. Box 1317
Jamul, CA 91935

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