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Trust
Appeals court delays Lamberth fairness complaint


The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued on order on Thursday delaying the Bush administration's request to remove U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth from the trust fund case.

In a per curiam order, the court said the issue of Lamberth's fairness will not be considered during a hearing this morning. The administration had hoped to raise it as part of an appeal of Lamberth's historical accounting order and structural injunction.

Instead, the court referred the motion to a panel that is hearing an appeal of another part of the case. That hearing has not been scheduled and may not be considered until next year due to the full schedule of the court, according to The Washington Post.

Today's hearing occurs during the 9:30am session of Judges Merrick B. Garland, Laurence H. Silberman and Stephen F. Williams. Each side will be given 15 minutes to argue, but in the past, the hearings in the Cobell v. Norton case have run much longer.

At issue today is Lamberth's decision to order the Interior Department to complete a broad historical accounting of the Individual Indian Money trust. The administration is refusing, saying it will perform a scaled-back project.

Lamberth also imposed a structural injunction that requires Interior to meet certain timelines and guidelines as part of the trust reform effort. The administration says Lamberth has overstepped his bounds and can't tell the department the exact steps it must take to fulfil its fiduciary obligations.

Get the Story:
Hearing on Indian Trust Judge Delayed (The Washington Post 9/16)
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Appeals Court Order:
Cobell v. Norton (September 15, 2005)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Office of Special Trustee - http://www.ost.doi.gov
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm

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