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Alabama judge tosses gambling lawsuit

26 November 2008

MOBILE, Alabama -- As reported by the Press-Register: "A federal judge in Mobile has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Alabama Attorney General Troy King's office in an effort to challenge the U.S. Department of the Interior's power to force an expansion of gambling on Indian lands.

"The Attorney General's Office filed the suit in April in response to efforts by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to force the state to negotiate a compact that would allow more gambling at its facilities in Atmore, Montgomery and Wetumpka.

"But U.S. District Judge William Steele dismissed the lawsuit this week on grounds that the state could not sue because the federal agency had not taken final action. In legal terms, the judge ruled that the case was not 'ripe' for consideration.

"...A spokesman for King said the state has not decided whether it will appeal Steele's decision or simply wait and file another lawsuit after the Interior Department issues a final rule requiring the state to resume long-stalled negotiations with the Creeks..."

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