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Mashpee Casino Blocked By Supreme Court Ruling

A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday puts a plan by the Mashpee Wampanoag Indian tribe to build a billion-dollar casino in Middleborough in doubt.

The nation's highest court has ruled the federal government cannot place land into trust for Indian tribes that have been recognized since 1934. The Mashpee gained federal recognition in 2007 and have asked the government to place 539 acres of land in Middleborough into a federal trust, a needed step before building a casino.

The ruling came in a case the state of Rhode Island filed against the Narragansett Indian tribe, over tribal lands.

To talk about where the Mashpee Wampanoag now stand, WBUR turned to Dennis Whittlesey, an attorney who specializes in gambling law and who has been representing the town of Middleborough in its negotiations with the Mashpee.

This program aired on February 25, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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