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Group Asks Supreme Court To Review Challenge To Madera Casino

North Fork Casino environmental impact statement
A rendering of the proposed casino near Madera

A case challenging plans by a Madera County Native American tribe to build a casino and hotel resort has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case, known as Stand Up California versus the federal Department of the Interior, questions the government's ability to bring land into to trust for the co-called "off-reservation" gaming site of the North Fork Rancheria Mono Indians.

The gaming site is along Highway 99 near Avenue 18, north of Madera. Some community members opposed the project even though Madera County Supervisors and the Madera City Council support the plan.

The case also questions whether the Secretary of the Interior can determine that the casino and hotel project would not be "detrimental to the surrounding community."  

Four members of the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices must determine they want to hear the case. If the court declines the case, a  U.S. District Court ruling in April that favored the federal Department of the Interior and the tribe will stand.

Marc Benjamin is a freelance reporter who contributes to Valley Public Radio.
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