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Amador County, California v. United States Department of the Interior

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20253
Nos. 13-5245, (D.C. Cir., 12/02/2014)

The D.C. Circuit affirmed a lower court decision dismissing a Native American tribe's motion to intervene in a county's lawsuit against DOI challenging its approval of a casino gaming compact between the tribe and the state of California. Under the agreement, the tribe would open a casino on its property—a 67-acre parcel of land located entirely within the county. Litigation between the county and DOI ensued, and the tribe eventually filed a motion to intervene. The lower court ruled that the tribe's motion was untimely, and the appellate court agreed. The county filed its complaint over nine years ago, and the case was "ready for oral argument and decision on the merits" in 2011. Yet, the tribe’s motion for intervention and the subsequent appeal have already delayed a decision on the merits for three years. Were the court to grant the tribe’s motion to intervene, a resolution of this case would be delayed even further.