Friday, July 01, 2011

AZ Legislature slapped down by federal court for overreaching with anti-Tohono O'odham law

From the Arizona Republic, written by Cecilia Chan -
A federal judge Thursday struck down a newly minted state law that aimed to derail a proposed West Valley casino.

U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell ruled that federal law preempted the state legislation, which gave Glendale the right to annex tribal land near 95th and Northern avenues. Annexation would have effectively voided the federal government's move to place the property in the reservation system. The Tohono O'odham Nation seeks reservation status so that it can build a casino.

The state law's "clear purpose and effect would be to block the Department of the Interior from taking the land into trust, contrary to the express command of Congress," Campbell said.
This doesn't end the case, or the cost to the taxpayers to defend this dog of a law - AZAG Tom Horne has pledged to appeal the ruling.  I expect the Tohono O'odham nation to prevail, but stay tuned.

HB2534, the bill that became the law that was struck down, is here.

The House's final vote on the bill is here - all the Rs but one (Farnsworth) supporting; all Ds opposing.

The Senate's final vote on the bill is here - all the Rs but four (Allen, Biggs, Gould, Barto) supporting, all Ds opposing.

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