'Unique' Alaska Key To Justices' Tribal COVID Funds Ruling

By Andrew Westney (June 28, 2021, 9:59 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to federally recognized tribes by ruling Alaska Native corporations are entitled to hundreds of millions of dollars in COVID-19 relief, but any broader effects may be constrained by the justices' insistence that the companies are distinct from sovereign governments, as well as a desire to keep treating Alaska as a special case in Indian law.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Friday wrote for a 6-3 majority, saying the ANCs can receive part of the $8 billion in tribal government funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act because they meet the law's definition of "Indian tribe," which...

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