Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | Law

Beneficiaries want Supreme Court to review Cobell settlement

A group of Indian beneficiaries is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the $3.4 billion Cobell trust fund settlement.

Charles Colombe, Carol Eve Good Bear and Mary Lee Johns filed their petition on September 19, the last day possible, according to Docket No. 12-355. A response from the Obama administration and the Cobell plaintiffs is due by October 22.

The petition comes after Colombe, a former chairman of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, told Native Sun News that he doesn't believe the appeal will be successful. "I think we’re going to get blown out of the water, frankly," he said in a story published last month.

The D.C Circuit Court of Appeals on May 22 ruled that the settlement was fair. The unanimous decision rejected arguments made by Colombe, Good Bear and Johns, as well as those made by Kimberly Craven, a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate.

Craven, an outspoken critic of the settlement, filed her petition with the Supreme Court in August. A response was due September 21.

The appeals are preventing the Obama administration from distributing $1.412 billion to Indian beneficiaries and from starting a program to buy fractionated interests from willing landowners. The land consolidation program is being funded with $1.9 billion.

The settlement was announced in December 2009. Congress didn't approve it until December 2010 amid opposition from Craven and the other beneficiaries and from some Republican members of Congress.

Get the Story:
Three More American Indians File Cobell Settlement Appeals with US Supreme Court (Indian Country Today 9/21)

Related Stories:
S.E. Ruckman: Indian Country wants to see Cobell payouts (09/18)
ICT refused to run Keith Harper's response on Cobell stories (09/18)
Keith Harper: Just a few truths about Obama, Cobell and me (9/12)
Ask Elouise: Lead counsel Dennis Gingold on status of payout (09/11)
Native Sun News: Cobell settlement on hold with more appeals (08/31)
Reply for Kimberly Craven's Cobell appeal due September 21 (08/24)
Kimberly Craven appeal delays $3.4B Cobell settlement again (08/23)
Cobell critic asks Supreme Court to review $3.4B settlement (08/20)

Join the Conversation