CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge has agreed to expedite a lawsuit that could stop a tribe from building a casino in North Carolina outside the city of Charlotte.
The Charlotte Observer reports that District of Columbia District Judge James Boasberg agreed to expedite the suit on Monday.
The suit is against the Catawba Indians and the Department of Interior. The Catawba want to build the $273 million Two Kings Casino Resort in Kings Mountain. The first phase of the casino could open by next fall with at least 1,300 slot machines.
The lawsuit was filed by the Eastern Band of the Cherokees, who have operated their own casinos in western North Carolina since 1997. The suit claims that political pressure from the project’s developer prompted the government to pave the way for the casino and bypass Congress in the process.
The Catawbas have said they have a right to the land for the casino based on a 1993 agreement that gave them federal recognition. But the Cherokees have called the Catawbas’ efforts “a modern-day land grab.”