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Another Cobell v. Norton hearing this week
Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Cobell v. Norton lawsuit will go before a federal appeals court once again this week.

On Friday, October 14, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a dispute stemming from the work of the former special master in the case. Alan Balaran had issued reports criticizing the government for its handling of the trust fund and was preparing reports on the alleged destruction of e-mails against court orders.

While the reports on the e-mails were being prepared, the Bush administration and other officials implicated moved to disqualify Balaran. He decided to resign, saying the effort was an attempt to hide the truth about the mismanagement of Indian trust assets.

The Bush administration now wants Balaran's reports eliminated from the record, saying that he should have been disqualified from the case. The administration wants to halt any potential contempt proceedings regarding the e-mail destruction.

The hearing will take place during the 9:30am session before Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg, Karen LeCraft Henderson and A. Raymond Randolph. The case is In Re: Gale Norton, No. 03-5288.

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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