A federal judge has agreed to speed up a lawsuit that could block the Catawba Indians from building a casino near Charlotte, North Carolina.
Federal Judge is Moving Lawsuit Forward
James Boasberg, District of Columbia District Judge, has agreed to step up the lawsuit for the Eastern Band of the Cherokees. They filed against the Catawbas and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Cherokees are trying to cease the S.C.-based Catawbas from opening their $273 million Two Kings Casino Resort in Kings Mountain. This casino is about 30 miles west of Charlotte. The casino has at least 1,300 slot machines. It could open by next fall.
Dissension Between the Cherokees and Catawbas
Moreover, the Cherokees sued the Catawbas and the Interior Department this summer. In fact, they claimed the political pressure from the project’s developer prompted the government to pave the way for the casino. In turn, bypass Congress in the process.
The Cherokees felt harm because of the Catawbas’ rapid development of the site. In addition, they have plans to open a temporary casino as early as May or June of 2021. The Cherokees said in a requesting Monday’s action.
Federal Judge and Court are Requesting Legal Documents
Therefore, final documents need to be in by January 18. This was a request by the federal court. In turn, the judge could order a hearing in February.
Moreover, four months after the federal Department of the Interior agree to take the 16 acres near Interstate 85 in Cleveland County into a trust, The Catawbas broke ground for the casino this past July. In fact, a designation that would allow the tribe to build the casino. The Catawbas are based in Rock Hill, South Carolina. No gambling is allowed, according to the state.
The Catawbas said they have a right to the land. This is based on a provision of a 1993 agreement that gave them federal recognition. The agreement gave the tribe a “service area” in six North Carolina counties. This includes Mecklenburg and Cleveland.