WASHINGTON, DC - The following is a statement from Senator Tom Daschle in reaction to today's U.S. appeals court ruling overturning the contempt citation against Interior Secretary Gale Norton:
"Today's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals does not detract from the fundamental fact that it is long past time to correct the Federal government's shameful mismanagement of Indian trust assets. It is widely recognized that Indian trust holders all across the country are being denied funds that are rightly theirs, and it is regrettable that the Interior Department seems to be more concerned about fighting for themselves than in fighting for Native Americans.
Today's decision in no way lets the Interior Department off the hook. They have a legal and moral obligation to restore integrity to trust fund management as soon as possible."