Supreme Court says tribes must be fully reimbursed

June 18, 2012 - 11:02 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says the government must fully reimburse Native American tribes for money they spent on federal programs.

The federal government had agreed to fully reimburse money tribes spent on programs like law enforcement, environmental protection and agricultural assistance, but Congress capped the amount of money earmarked for that reimbursement. The tribes sued, and the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver said the money must be fully reimbursed.

The high court on Monday said the Ramah Navajo Chapter and other Native American tribes must get their money back.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the majority opinion for Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Elena Kagan. Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Samuel Alito dissented.