"Supreme Court Appears to Favor Government in Indian Trust Fund Case"

"An American Indian tribe's efforts to win access to legal documents relating to the federal government's management of a tribal trust fund received a cool reception at the Supreme Court [Wednesday].

In a case that could affect other disputes over Indian trust fund management, a majority of justices appeared to favor the Interior Department, which has cited attorney-client privilege as its reason for withholding certain documents.

The Jicarilla Apache Nation filed suit in 2002 claiming that assets were mismanaged relating to the 900,000 acres of land Interior oversees in regard to oil, gas, timber and gravel resources.

The tribe asked for an accounting of funds held in trust by the government in addition to $300 million in damages. It claimed, in part, that the government had failed to invest its funds appropriately."

Lawrence Hurley reports for Greenwire April 20, 2011.

Thursday, April 21, 2011