Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > CARES Act Decision: Shawnee Tribe v. Mnuchin
Posted: January 5, 2021

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in Shawnee Tribe v. Mnuchin on January 5, 2021.

At issue in the case is whether the Shawnee Tribe was shortchanged its share of COVID-19 relief funds. The D.C. Circuit agreed that the Trump administration did not fully consider the tribe’s circumstances in distributing payments from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act.

“So although the tribe had over $6.6 million in expenditures in 2019, and although it ‘incurred significant medical and public health expenses in responding to the devastation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,’ it received just $100,000—the minimum payment for tribes with a population of fewer than thirty-seven,” Judge David S. Tatel wrote in the 15-page decision.

With 3,021 citizens, the tribe alleges it should have received at least $12 million from the $8 billion coronavirus relief fund. The D.C. Circuit ordered further proceedings to determine whether Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin should award the larger amount to the Shawnees.

“Whether the Secretary will have to devise a new methodology depends on the merits, which the district court will address in the first instance,” Tatel wrote.

Oral arguments took place on December 4, 2020, before three judges of the D.C. Circuit. Judge Merrick Garland, however, did not participate in the outcome for reasons that are not detailed in the opinion.

Turtle Talk has posted briefs from the case, Shawnee Tribe v. Mnuchin.

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals: Shawnee Tribe v. Steven Mnuchin

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