Indian farmers ready for trial in discrimination case
The plaintiffs in a discrimination lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture say they are ready to go to trial to prove they were unfairly denied more than $14 billion in farming loans.

The Keepsagle plaintiffs say the loans went to white farmers instead. They say they lost out on an estimated $500 million in profits, a figure that could go up as more data is acquired.

The case was filed in 1999. The Clinton administration settled a similar lawsuit involving African-American farmers but the case languished during the Bush administration.

The plaintiffs hope President Barack Obama will be open to a settlement. "We've listened to rhetoric for 10 years now," said lead plaintiff Claryca Mandan, Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation of North Dakota, the Associated Press reported. "We would like to see those words translate into action."

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan will hold a status hearing on the case at 11am, March 13, in Room 24A of the federal district courthouse in Washington, D.C.

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Indian Farmers Allege Loan Discrimination (AP 3/4)

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