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Ruling Upholds Legality of Senecas' Casino Corporations

By Associated Press

Cattaraugus Reservation, NY – The Seneca Nation of Indian's highest court has thrown out a lower court's ruling that said the corporations operating the tribe's casinos are illegal.

The Supreme Appellate Court, which comprises members of the nation's governing Tribal Council, ruled that the Tribal Council had appropriately established the Seneca Gaming Corporation and its subsidiaries. The court also ruled that the businesses were protected by sovereign immunity from being sued.

The decision reversed a decision last month by the nation's Court of Appeals which said the corporations violated the Seneca constitution. The lower court said the Indian nation's casinos should be controlled by the Tribal Council itself.

Robert Jones, a leader of the Senecas for Justice and Preservation, which brought the legal challenge, says the high court overstepped its authority by overturning earlier rulings that were not finalized.