Should they ever walk into an Indian casino together, expect 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Milan Smith Jr. to get comped, while Judge Jay Bybee will be stuck paying for his own steak.

The two George W. Bush appointees diverged Tuesday in a case with far-reaching implications for casino regulation — and the coffers of the California state government. In negotiating a gaming compact, California violated federal law when it demanded that a tribe pay 10 percent to 15 percent of its winnings into the general fund, Smith wrote for a 2-1 panel.

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