Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > CARES Act Litigation
Posted: May 6, 2020

The E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse houses both the federal court for the District of Columbia and the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

A federal judge is holding a scheduling conference in the CARES Act litigation at 1pm Eastern on May 7, 2020.

The public can listen to the conference using the toll-free public access line: (877) 848-7030. The access code for Judge Amit P. Mehta’s courtroom is 321-8747.

The conference comes after the Trump administration began distributing a portion of the $8 billion coronavirus relief to tribal governments. But the litigation is far from over because the main issue in the case has not been fully settled.

On April 27, Mehta temporarily barred the Department of the Treasury from distributing payments to Alaska Native corporations. But there hasn’t been a final ruling on that matter, and Treasury is withholding their shares pending the outcome of the litigation.

The Trump administration also hasn’t decided whether to appeal the preliminary injunction that was granted by Mehta last week.

A separate issue also has to be considered. Arguing that the federal government cannot adequately represent its interests, Alaska Native corporations are seeking to intervene in the litigation.

The case consists of three separate lawsuits that have been consolidated. The plaintiffs in Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation v. Mnuchin are:

  • Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation (Washington)
  • Tulalip Tribes (Washington)
  • Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians (Maine)
  • Akiak Native Community (Alaska)
  • Asa’carsarmiut Tribe (Alaska) 
  • Aleut Community of St. Paul Island (Alaska)
  • Navajo Nation (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah)
  • Quinault Nation (Washington)
  • Pueblo of Picuris (New Mexico)
  • Elk Valley Rancheria (California)
  • San Carlos Apache Tribe (Arizona)

The plaintiffs in Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe v. Mnuchin are:

  • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (South Dakota)
  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe (South Dakota)
  • Oglala Sioux Tribe (South Dakota)
  • Nondalton Tribal Council (Alaska)
  • Native Village of Venetie (Alaska)
  • Arctic Village Council (Alaska)

The third case is Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation v. Mnuchin. The sole plaintiff is:

  • Ute Indian Tribe (Utah)
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