Education | Law

Trial to begin in dispute over self-determination contract costs





Fresh off a win from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ramah Navajo Chapter in New Mexico will go to trial on Monday to determine how much is owed on self-determination contracts.

The chapter and other tribes are part of a class action that seeks to recover "contract support costs" from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Millions could be coming to Indian Country as a result of the 5-4 decision from the high court, which stated that federal agencies must fulfill the promises made in self-determination contracts.

“The government here was saying that since Congress capped (the amount paid on contracts), it meant to cut it off at that point, and anybody not paid should just eat it. The Supreme Court said that’s not the law,” attorney Michael Gross, who represents the chapter told The Albuquerque Journal.

The trial is taking place in federal court in Santa Fe.

Get the Story:
High Court: Tribes Can Recoup Millions (The Albuquerque Journal 6/20)

Supreme Court Decision:
Salazar v. Ramah Navajo Chapter (June 18, 2012)

Oral Argument Transcript:
Ramah Navajo Chapter v. Salazar (April 28, 2012)

10th Circuit Decision:
Ramah Navajo Chapter v. Salazar (May 9, 2011)

Related Stories:
Supreme Court backs tribes in self-determination contract case (6/18)
Lloyd Miller: Supreme Court to rule in self-determination lawsuit (06/06)
SCOTUSBlog: Recap of argument in self-determination suit (04/19)
Turtle Talk: Commentary on self-determination argument (4/19)
Supreme Court transcript from self-determination case (4/18)
Supreme Court set for hearing in self-determination case (4/16)
Supreme Court agrees to take up self-determination dispute (01/09)
Supreme Court puts off action on self-determination litigation (11/28)
10th Circuit sides with tribes on self-determination contracts (5/9)