“As much as this looks like Bellagio (a Las Vegas hotel), this is an Indian nation,” said Mark Macarro, chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, which runs a $262 million casino-resort on its reservation in Riverside County. “All governments have immunity to suit unless they agree to a waiver.” A former customer, Richard Swan was nearly beaten to DEATH, by Pechanga's security, in 2008 and Pechanga didn't waiver.
Macarro says those who want to limit Indian sovereignty have a shortsighted view of history: “There’s an indignant self-righteousness: ‘How dare these tribes come in and impact our quality of life?’ ” he said. “A few generations ago when we were being kicked out of our villages at gunpoint, we were saying the same thing, but we were powerless to stop it. NOW, Macarro kicks out his own people from his "village" in Pechanga's Trail of Tears.
The tribes alone determine civil justice in Indian territory because, as sovereign nations, they enjoy immunity from civil suits — the same immunity granted to states and foreign countries, like...South Africa.
That justice can vary wildly, because each of California’s 107 federally recognized tribes makes and enforces its own laws, whether it has one voting member or 3,000, whether it’s a democracy or an oligarchy. ......