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DOI raises opposition to West Flagler’s motion to stay

| By Marese O'Hagan
The US Department of the Interior (DOI) has filed a motion to oppose West Flagler Associates' motion to stay.
West Flagler DOI

The DOI asked the US District Court for the District of Columbia to deny West Flagler’s motion to stay. This motion was filed last week.

“Appellee brick-and-mortar gaming facilities (West Flagler) ask the Court to withhold its mandate pending resolution of a petition for certiorari that West Flagler intends to file in the Supreme Court, or in the alternative, pending resolution of an emergency motion to the Supreme Court that West Flagler may file in advance of that petition,” the motion reads.

“A stay is not warranted, because any such petition could present no substantial question for Supreme Court review.”

Further, the DOI argued that West Flagler’s motion does not meet the conditions of certiorari. This is an order wherein a higher court would review a case that has initially been tried in lower court.

“There is no reasonable probability that the Supreme Court would grant certiorari in this case and reverse this Court’s decision,” the filing continued. “The Supreme Court grants petitions for certiorari ‘only for compelling reasons’.

“West Flagler’s failure to present a meritorious certiorari issue requires that the motion for stay be dismissed.”

Latest twist

The filing is an attempt to block the pari-mutuel betting operators from continuing their plight against their loss in the West Flagler Associates vs Haaland case in June.

As a result of this case, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a prior federal district ruling. This ruling had classed the Seminole Tribe’s compact with the state as a violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). This permitted the Seminoles to operate in Florida uninhibited.

West Flagler filed a rehearing petition in August. This was denied by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in September in a one-sentence response.

The DOI criticised West Flagler’s rehearing petition, calling its contents “strawman arguments”.

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