The U.S. Justice Department made a decision today to proceed with the
reconsideration of the court ruling that would eliminate the Mashpee Wampanoag's
Earlier this year Neil Bluhm, a casino developer from Chicago, brought forth a
lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Interior over their right to authorize
land owned by Native American tribes as reservations if the tribe was federally
recognized after 1934. That was the year of the Indian Re-Organization Act.
In September of 2015 150 acres in Taunton and 170 acres in Mashpee were approved
to be tribal reservation by the U.S. Interior Department.
A Federal Court Judge ruled last July that the U.S. Interior Department could
not put land into trust for the tribe since the tribe was given federal
recognition after 1934.
The Justice Department filed a motion to reconsider only asks the judge if the
tribe was under jurisdiction of the federal government. The ability for the
tribe to acquire land was not in question.
A clarification is requested to better understand the ruling.
A motion to intervene was filed last week by the tribe in order to protect their
reservation status and their sovereignty.
There are close to 2,600 enrolled Mashpee Wampanoag tribal members.
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