Tribes ask 9th Circuit for rehearing
Attorneys for the scientists released a statement today announcing yet another delay in the Kennewick Man lawsuit. The plaintiff scientists have succesfully overcome nearly 8 years of legal maneuvering as the Army Corps of Engineers, Department of the Interior, Department of Justice and Joint Tribal Coalitions continue their efforts to prevent study of the Kennewick Man.
The four tribes filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals asking for a rehearing en banc. The Department of Justice has until the end of the day today, Monday March 22, 2004 to file a similar petition. A rehearing is not automatically granted. The 9th Circuit's response to the petition(s) is expected in the weeks to come. We'll post this next round of legal documents as they become available.
Despite two courts unanimously finding in favor of the scientists, the defendants continue to exercise every available legal option, which is their right as citizens. The Department of Justice and/or the Joint Tribal Coalition may also appeal the 9th Circuit decision to the Supreme Court. Requests must be filed within 90 days of the February 4, 2004 decision. However, the Supreme Court does not automatically hear every case submitted.
We are frequently asked - Who's paying for all this litigation? The answer is: tax dollars pay for the defendant agencies' legal time and expenses. However, the scientists' attorneys continue to work without compensation and to pay for litgation expenses. With your generous help, Friends of America's Past has helped cover a portion of these out-of-pocket expenses. We are grateful for your help as the legal expenses escallate.
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