U.S. District Court Supports Proposition 1A

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Susan Jensen
(916) 448-8706

U.S. District Court Supports Proposition 1A

Indian Leaders Thank Californians for Their Continued Support

July 29, 2002

Sacramento, CA—The U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of California has found Proposition 1A to be constitutionally sound and rejected a lawsuit by a small group of California card room operators. California Indian communities are deeply gratified to see the U.S. District Court uphold the overwhelming mandate of California voters for Indian self-reliance. We are grateful to the millions of Californians and thousands of organizations that gave us their support and commitment. With this legal challenge behind us, California Indian tribes can continue on our path to self-reliance.

The lawsuit, which challenged Proposition 1A, was filed by a disgruntled handful of card room operators against the state of California. It sought to expand gaming beyond state and federal limits and to destroy the progress that the tribes and the state have made after a decade of conflict. The lawsuit was a desperate measure to attempt to overrule federal law and Supreme Court decisions that have consistently upheld the constitutional status of tribal governments -- not racial groups -- to use gaming as a form of economic development.

The court decision affirms the right of tribes as governments to offer gaming and found Proposition 1A to be consistent with federal gaming law.

The overwhelming majority of Californians want to see the limited and regulated tribal gaming authorized in Proposition 1A continue uninterrupted.

The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, California State Assembly and Senate, State Attorney General, California Federation of Labor, taxpayer groups, chambers of commerce, law enforcement, religious and ethnic leaders joined together to support Proposition 1A. The tribal-state gaming agreements, made possible by the passage of Proposition 1A were signed by 61 tribal governments and subsequently approved by the Department of the Interior.

Thanks to Proposition 1A, Indian gaming is transforming the lives of California Indians and is allowing us to provide better health-care, housing and education for our people. We continue to be grateful to the millions of Californians and thousands of organizations that gave us their support and commitment.

Copies of the court decision are available upon request through our office.

To arrange an interview with a tribal spokesperson, please contact Susan Jensen at 916-448-8706.

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