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Citizens Against Casino Gambling in Erie County v. Kempthorne

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


August 31, 2006

CITIZENS AGAINST CASINO GAMBLING IN ERIE COUNTY, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
DIRK KEMPTHORNE,*FN1 ET AL., DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: William M. Skretny United States District Judge

DECISION AND ORDER

1. Currently pending before this Court is Defendants' Motion to Stay briefing and argument on Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment pending resolution of Defendants' earlier filed Motion to Dismiss. Defendants urge that a stay will "avoid a potential waste of judicial resources and . . . avoid adjudication of matters with regard to which the United States has not waived its sovereign immunity." In short, Defendants argue that this Court must address its jurisdictional arguments before considering the merits of the case.

2. This Court has no quarrel with Defendants' recitation of the law and does not intend to "offend[ ] [the] fundamental principles of separation of powers" by deciding the merits of this action prior to determining whether jurisdiction exists. Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better Env't, 523 U.S. 83, 94, 118 S.Ct. 1003, 140 L.Ed. 2d 210 (1998).

3. However, this Court is not convinced that it would be a waste of judicial resources to have Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment fully briefed, argued and "waiting in the wings" in the event it is determined that jurisdiction does exist over some or all of the claims advanced. Moreover, in the event that some or all of the claims proceed, this approach will facilitate a more expeditious consideration of the merits.

4. Accordingly, Defendants' Motion to Stay (Docket No. 49) is DENIED.

SO ORDERED.


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