Judge halts virus relief funding for Alaska Native firms

    Washington, DC (AP) - A federal judge has put the brakes on federal coronavirus relief funding for Alaska Native corporations for now.

    The decision Tuesday stems from lawsuits that several tribes filed against the Treasury Department seeking to keep the corporations from getting a share of $8 billion set aside for tribes.

    U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington, D.C., ruled against the tribes late last month.

    But he says he wrestled with the decision, and it deserves a closer look before a higher court.

    He granted a request from the tribal plaintiffs to halt funding for the corporations while his decision is appealed.

    He has given the tribes until July 14 to challenge it.

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