YAKIMA, Wash. - Washington's Supreme Court says the lawsuit challenging the state's gas tax compacts with American Indian tribes can proceed, even though the tribes are not party to the lawsuit.
A trial court dismissed the complaint because it didn't include the tribes, which have immunity as sovereign nations.
On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that even though the tribes are necessary parties, the case should still be considered.
The Automotive United Trades Organization filed the lawsuit, claiming the compacts give tribal retailers an unfair competitive advantage and enable tribal retailers to undercut nontribal retailers' fuel prices. The trade group represents Washington gasoline and automotive service retailers.