SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico’s highest court has turned down a request by an Oklahoma-based American Indian tribe that sought to force Gov. Susana Martinez to sign a gambling compact with them.
The state Supreme Court issued its denial of the Fort Sill Apache’s petition on Monday. The justices offered no explanation for their decision.
The tribe filed its request earlier this year, saying Martinez ignored requests by its chairman to sign on to existing compacts.
The tribe wants to operate a casino on land near Deming in southern New Mexico that was put into trust in 2002. It says it doesn’t matter that the tribe’s land hasn’t been federally approved yet for gambling.
Martinez argued that the tribe first has to have eligible land before her office can negotiate a compact.
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