Articles Posted in U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals

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The federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), 25 U.S.C. 2701-2721, establishes a cooperative federal-state-tribal regime for regulating gaming by federally recognized Indian tribes on Indian lands. The Massachusetts Gaming Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 23K, sect. 3(a), establishes a licensing scheme and other standards for gaming. KG, a potential applicant for a gaming license, argued that the state Act provides unauthorized preferences to Indian tribes and on that basis treats the southeast section of the state differently, and this constitutes a classification on the basis of race in violation of the Equal Protection Clause and is inconsistent with congressional intent in the federal Indian gaming statute. The district court dismissed. The First Circuit vacated with respect to the equal protection claim and otherwise affirmed. Whether the tribal provisions are "authorized" by the IGRA such that is subject to only rational basis review is far from clear, presents a difficult question of statutory interpretation, and implicates a practice of the Secretary of the Interior not challenged in this suit. There is apparently no judicial authority addressing the question of whether a state may negotiate a tribal-state compact with a federally recognized tribe that does not presently possess Indian lands. View "KG Urban Enters., LLC v. Patrick" on Justia Law

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The former governor and former financial director of the Tribe were convicted for conspiracy to defraud the United States (18 U.S.C. 371), and of violations of 18 U.S.C. 287, 666 and 669, involving misuse of federal grant and tribal monies at the Passamaquoddy Tribe Indian Township Reservation in Maine. The First Circuit vacated the conviction of the financial director for making material misstatements about how grant money intended for HIV and substance abuse prevention was spent, but otherwise affirmed. The evidence that the director knew that his statements were false was insufficient. The district court had jurisdiction; several counts involved mismanagement of federal grants and contracts, which are subject to regulations that the Tribe is not free to ignore, and do not constitute internal tribal matters. View "United States v. Parisi" on Justia Law