COURTNEY, BLUMENTHAL, MURPHY, LARSON STATEMENT ON CONNECTICUT LAWSUIT TO COMPEL INTERIOR DEPARTMENT ACTION ON TRIBAL COMPACT
(Washington, DC) – Joe Courtney (CT-2), Congressmen John Larson (CT-1) and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) issued the following statement in support of the joint lawsuit filed by the Connecticut Attorney General, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, and the Mohegan Tribe in U.S. District Court today. The lawsuit seeks to compel the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to approve the amendments to the tribal compacts between the state and Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes clarifying that existing Tribal/State Agreements are not impacted by the joint operation of a third casino in East Windsor by the Tribes. DOI failed to either approve or reject the amendments, rather they returned them to the Tribes. Federal law deems approved any amendment that is neither approved or rejected within 90 days of submission and requires the DOI to publish notice of such deemed approval in the Federal Register.
“The law is clear—the Department of the Interior has approved the amendments and must now publish such approval. Court action to require publication of approval is necessary because Interior’s inaction violated federal law. Interior must follow the law and do what is best for both the tribes and Connecticut.”