Taunton Casino Project Suffers Legal Setback
The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has suffered a legal setback in their bid to build a resort casino in Taunton.
A U.S. District Court judge ruled on Thursday that the federal government erred when it awarded land in trust status for the proposed site of the First Light Resort and Casino.
Adam Bond, a lawyer representing a group of residents opposed to the casino, told WBSM News that the ruling will do a great deal to limit government agencies from exceeding their authority.
"I think the results of it do alot towards keeping the federal government coralled within the proper scope of its power as opposed to allowing federal agencies to sort of, run amok and through administrative fiat take jurisdiction they weren't allowed to have in the first place," said Bond.
Bond says his clients opposed the project for a wide array of reasons.
"Some didn't want to live near a casino, some didn't want to live near a sovereign entity because you don't have the ability to go forward and find ways of dealing with that sovereign entity through local channels because they're immune from suit," said Bond.
When asked for comment, Sean Gonsalves, a spokesman for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, released the following statement.
“Obviously, we are disappointed in the ruling. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has been a continuous Tribe descended from the indigenous people who have lived on this land for the past 12,000 years. Furthermore, our tribe was indeed under federal jurisdiction before 1934. We submitted evidence of that with our land-in-trust application. This matter has been remanded back to the U.S. Department of Interior and we are consulting with the Interior and Justice Departments on the next steps, as we expect an appeal will be forthcoming. Our people have been challenged throughout history and we are still here, living on the land of our ancestors. I have no doubt we will prevail.”