Cayuga Nation v. Tanner, No. 15-1667 (2d Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
The Nation filed suit against defendants contending that the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), 25 U.S.C. 2701‐2721, preempts the application of a local anti‐gambling ordinance to a Nation‐owned gaming facility located on land owned by the tribe (the Lakeside facility). The district court dismissed the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and, following a motion for reconsideration, concluded that the individual plaintiffs lacked standing. The court concluded that the district court had subject matter jurisdiction, as it was not required to resolve questions of tribal law to hear the lawsuit. The court held that it was entitled to defer to the BIA's recognition of an individual as authorized to act on behalf of the Nation, notwithstanding the limited issue that occasioned that recognition. The court also concluded that the individual plaintiffs have standing to sue because they will suffer an injury distinct from any felt by the Nation. Accordingly, the court vacated the district court's order and remanded for further proceedings.