Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement

Cobell critic asks Supreme Court to review $3.4B settlement

Kimberly Craven, a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate in South Dakota who opposes the $3.4 billion Cobell trust fund settlement, will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear her challenge.

Craven says the settlement is unfair to hundreds of thousands of Indian beneficiaries. She will be basing her appeal mainly on class action law.

“With the Cobell attorneys getting $99 million and the government getting its ‘clean slate,’ we are just not getting our fair share for all the historical injustices, [and] loss of culture and economic opportunity for our people," Craven told Indian Country Today.

Craven plans to file her petition today, the deadline to appeal. However, three other Indian beneficiaries who challenged the settlement might also appeal -- their request for an extension was approved on Friday, according to the Supeme Court docket sheet.

But Charles Colombe, one of the three, told Native Sun News that he wasn't confident further appeals would be successful. "I think we’re going to get blown out of the water, frankly," he told the paper.

The D.C Circuit Court of Appeals on May 22 ruled that the settlement was fair. The unanimous decision rejected Craven's arguments as well as those made by the other three beneficiaries.

Get the Story:
Indians Filing Cobell Appeals with US Supreme Court (Indian Country Today 8/18)
Inside Kimberly Craven’s Cobell Appeal to U.S. Supreme Court (Indian Country Today 8/19)

DC Circuit Decision:
Cobell v. Salazar (May 22, 2012)

Related Stories:
Native Sun News: Cobell trust fund settlement moves forward (8/15)