On Thursday, a federal judge agreed, up to a point.
The judge, James Robertson of Federal District Court in Washington, ruled that the plaintiffs, however much they had prevailed in proving government failure, were entitled to only a fraction of the billions of dollars they sought. Judge Robertson said that trust law is applied differently to government trustees than it would be to private citizens, and that instead of the $48 billion that the descendants of the original trust holders claimed, the government was only liable for about $455 million.
“He basically accepted the government’s argument that not that much money is missing,” said Bill McAllister, a spokesman for the plaintiffs, who are led by a member of the Blackfoot tribe in Montana, Elouise Pepion Cobell. “He rejected our methodology and our theory of the case.”
You can read more of the government's winning argument in Department of the Interior Response to Decision on Cobell Lawsuit. I'd like to see the plaintiffs' response to this.
I didn't realize both sides were offering fictitious models of what the government might owe. I thought both sides, especially the plaintiffs, were arguing over real documented losses.
Writerfella here --
Wow! 1%? John McCain has won again. And when he becomes President (as white America still is unwilling to elect Barrack O'Bama President), it still further could be reduced. Reagan now is dead and so now it never may be revealed that he raided the American Indian Trust for funds to keep the Contras operating in Nicaragua... *sigh*
"I thought both sides, especially the plaintiffs, were arguing over real documented losses."
This type of inflation is common with piracy arguments. The software industry often quotes some multi-billion dollar loss that they say is a result of software piracy. This multi-billion dollar loss assumes that every middle-school kid with a bunch of $400 programs would have bought every single one of them if not for piracy. Thus, the actual financial loss to the software industry is a mere fraction of what they claim it is.
The same fallacious arguments are used in claims of monetary loss due to music copying.
Writerfella here --
dMarks, if your banker dipped into your trust account and gutted it, and then told you that all he would pay you was $.01 on the dollar, we'd likely hear you screaming all the way to the South Orkney Islands...
I agree that piracy claims are usually false or grossly overstated. I didn't know that the Cobell plaintiffs were using those kinds of arguments.
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