A federal judge has denied the nation's motion to intervene in the long-running legal battle over the 9,000-year-old Kennewick Man skeleton. Magistrate Judge John Jelderks ruled the central Washington tribe waited too long to try to join the federal government as a defendant after the lawsuit was filed 3 1/2 years ago. The nation filed a motion to intervene in May, along with a counterclaim declaring it is "culturally affiliated" with the remains and entitled under federal law to take custody of the remains "for traditional reburial." The nation is part of a coalition of five Northwest tribes that claimed the bones, asking that they be reburied with no more studies. Jelderks has given Interior until late September to finish DNA tests and tell scientists who sued whether they'll be given permission to conduct their own studies. The three labs assigned to conduct the DNA tests reported early this month they were having trouble getting results because of contamination of the ancient bone samples.
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