The lawyers in the Cobell case today agreed to another extension to give Congress more time to approve, or deny, legislation that would implement the $3.4 billion settlement in an Indian trust case that has been ongoing in Washington federal district court for more than a decade.
The attorneys for lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell agreed with Justice Department lawyers to extend the deadline for congressional authorization to August 6. The earlier deadline was today. The settlement, which requires congressional approval, was announced last December. For background on the case, click here, here and here.
Today’s extension could prove to be the last as Congress leaves around the time of the deadline for its August recess. Mid-term elections could also prove a hurdle for the plaintiffs and the DOJ attorneys to secure approval for the settlement.
Extending the deadline does not require judicial approval. Senior Judge Thomas Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia inherited the case from Senior Judge James Robertson, who recently retired.