Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > CARES Act Litigation
Posted: May 8, 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)

With a portion of the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund still going out to tribal governments, a federal judge will hear arguments in the CARES Act litigation at 1pm Eastern on May 8, 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.

At issue is a request for a motion for a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and emergency writ of mandamus. It’s being sought by the tribal plaintiffs in Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians v. Mnuchin in hopes of getting all $8 billion distributed immediately.

Eight Indian nations are part of the lawsuit. They are:

  • Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (California)
  • Ak-Chin Indian Community (Arizona)
  • Arapaho Tribe of the Wind River Reservation (Wyoming)
  • Cherokee Nation (Oklahoma)
  • Chickasaw Nation (Oklahoma)
  • Choctaw Nation (Oklahoma)
  • Snoqualmie Tribe (Washington)
  • Yurok Tribe (California)

The Trump administration is only distributing $4.8 billion of the coronavirus relief fund, representing 60 percent of the total amount. As of Wednesday, about $3.4 billion has been deposited into tribal bank accounts, according to a declaration filed in federal court as part of a different CARES Act lawsuit.

The Department of the Treasury has yet to publicly announce plans for distributing the remaining 40 percent. But tribal leaders were told on May 7 that additional data will be collected starting next week, according to people who participated in a conference call with senior Trump administration officials.

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