U.S. SC asked to hear case over Native American settlement

Jessica M. Karmasek Aug. 23, 2012, 1:28pm


WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - A Colorado woman who previously challenged a multi-billion dollar settlement with the federal government over mismanaged Native American land royalties in a federal appeals court is taking her fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kimberly Craven, of Boulder, Colo., and a member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate nation, filed her petition for a writ of certiorari, or review, with the nation's high court Wednesday.

Craven, a vocal opponent of the $3.4 billion settlement reached in 2009, had appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In May, the D.C. Circuit affirmed the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia's ruling, which concluded the settlement was fair and meets the requirements of due process.

The settlement resolved a 15-year lawsuit that claimed federal officials mismanaged, stole or squandered billions of dollars in land royalties belonging to more than 500,000 individual Native Americans.

According to The Associated Press, Craven is arguing the deal enriches the attorneys and the named plaintiffs, who were led by Eloise Cobell.

Cobell, a well-known Native American leader, died last October.

Craven's attorney told the AP he won't know for months whether the U.S. Supreme Court will take up his client's case.

A response to her petition is due Sept. 21, according to the Court's docket.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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