The Aquinnah Wampanoag tribe wants a dispute over its gambling rights settled in the federal courts.
The Martha’s Vineyard-based tribe announced plans last month to open a small casino on the island. But the state of Massachusetts contends that the tribe gave up its gambling rights in a 1980′s settlement that secured tribal lands on the island.
Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration filed a lawsuit with the state Supreme Judicial Court earlier this month seeking to block the tribe from moving ahead with its plans to convert a small community center into a gambling facility.
On Monday, the Aquinnah announced it had filed paperwork asking that the case be moved from state to federal court.
Tribal chairwoman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais says the questions raised in the lawsuit are ones of federal law.