Tribe gets government aid
Regulators have ties to Seminoles
Loyalty pays off for Tampa partner
Banking on full-scale casinos
Seminoles gain entry in Caribbean casino
Tribe protected from lawsuits
Times Staff Writer
The sovereign-nation status of Indian tribes provides immunity from lawsuits. With only a few exceptions, no one can sue a tribe or its employees.
The immunity issue has been brought up on Capitol Hill by Sen. Slade Gorton, a Washington Republican. In a speech to the Senate this year, Gorton talked of citizens deprived of the right to sue: a Minnesota woman fired from a casino because of her age; Puget Sound landowners unable to enforce a court order prohibiting Indians from harvesting shellfish on their shores; a Washington man whose son was killed when Indian police officers ran a red light.
Under normal constitutional guarantees, Gorton said, "Every American citizen should be granted the opportunity to his or her case in a neutral court."
Indian lobbyists point out that two-thirds of the nation's 554 tribes do not have gambling revenue and could be ruined by lawsuits.
Senators have agreed to take up the question in 1998.
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