Leftover Indian farmer settlement money plan left alone

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A federal appeals court won't reconsider a plan that distributes $300 million in leftover federal lawsuit settlement money to groups that help American Indians.

The money is left over from a $680 million fund approved by the Obama administration in 2011 to settle claims by Indian farmers who said they were denied federal loans due to discrimination. Only about half of the expected claims materialized.

The dispute over the leftover money is about whether it should go to individual farmers or to the groups. Two men who object to the court-approved plan say the court should consider new a policy under the Trump administration.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has banned government settlements that provide payments to third parties with no direct claims. But Justice Department attorneys say it's a mandate "going forward."

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