Supreme Court sides with Alaska Natives in COVID-19 aid case

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Friday that hundreds of millions of dollars in coronavirus relief money tied up in court should benefit Alaska Natives rather than be spread more broadly among Native American tribes around the U.S. The justices ruled 6-3 in the case, which involved the massive pandemic relief package passed last year and signed into law by then-President Donald Trump. The $2.2 trillion legislation earmarked $8 billion for “Tribal governments” to cover expenses related to the pandemic. The question for the court was whether Alaska Native corporations, which are for-profit companies that provide benefits and social services to more than 100,000 Alaska Natives, count as “Indian tribes.” The high court answered yes.

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