Appeals Court: ND must pay tribes’ legal fees in voter ID dispute

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal appeals court panel has upheld a ruling that orders North Dakota to pay more than $450,000 in plaintiff’s attorneys fees and costs stemming from tribal lawsuits over state voter identification requirements.

Last year, the state agreed to settle longstanding legal disputes with Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and the Spirit Lake and Standing Rock Sioux tribes.

The tribes sued over North Dakota’s requirement that voters have identification with a street address. The tribes said it creates a disadvantage for Native Americans who live on reservations where street addresses are hard to come by.

An 8th U.S. Circuit of Appeals panel has upheld a federal judge’s May 2020 order that the state pay nearly $453,000.

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