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Scott McIntosh, Pilar Thomas and Nicole Simmons featured in article “Feds Shorted Shawnee Tribe On Virus Funds, DC Circ. Told”


The Shawnee Tribe has encouraged the D.C. Circuit to overturn a lower court ruling that will dismiss the tribe's bid for more coronavirus relief funding under the CARES Act. The tribe states that the Treasury Department didn't have the discretion to base the tribe's funding on data showing its population as zero.

Below is an excerpt:

The Shawnee filed suit on June 18, saying the federal government undercounted and undercompensated the tribe by relying on Indian Housing Block Grant population data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The government disregarded population data provided by the tribe and instead opted for the IHGB metric, under which the tribe has a population of "zero," the complaint claimed. In reality, the tribe said, it has more than 3,000 tribal citizens.


Judge Mehta tossed the APA suit on Sept. 10, echoing his reasoning in an Aug. 19 order denying the tribe's bid for preliminary injunction.

The judge pointed to the text of Title V, which states that the amount of funding a tribe receives "shall be ... determined in such manner as the secretary determines appropriate," saying that language "cannot be reasonably read to place any restriction on how the secretary must allocate the $8 billion to achieve that goal."


The Shawnee Tribe is represented by Luke Cass, Scott McIntosh, Pilar Thomas and Nicole L. Simmons of Quarles & Brady LLP and by Gregory J. Bigler.


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