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 on May 20, 2020, issued an order allowing Alaska Native corporate interests to intervene in ongoing litigation over the $8 billon coronavirus relief fund.

The corporations have shown “entitlement to intervene as a matter of right,” Judge Amit P. Mehta wrote in the short decision. He also noted that their legal interests aren’t adequately represented by the Department of the Treasury, the federal agency in charge of distributing the $8 billion.

Treasury in fact is withholding an estimated $162.3 million from more than 200 Alaska Native regional and village corporations as a result of a preliminary injunction issued by Mehta regarding their eligibility to receive shares of the coronavirus relief fund.

A final decision has not been reached in the case.

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