Respondents’ Briefs and Amicus Briefs in Yellen v. Chehalis

Here (the remainder of the briefs are on the Yellen v. Chehalis backgrounds materials page):

Brief of the Confederated Chehalis Tribes

Brief of the Ute Tribe

Amicus Brief of Academics

Amicus Brief of Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria

Amicus Brief of Raul Grijalva

Amicus Brief of the States

Amicus Brief of Tribal Organizations

Yellen v. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation Background Materials

Here are the merits briefs:

Brief of Alaska Native Village Corporation Association Inc.

Brief of the United States

Brief of the Confederated Chehalis Tribes

Brief of the Ute Tribe

United States Reply

Alaska Native Village Corporation Association Reply

Amicus Briefs Supporting Petitioners:

Amicus Brief of Alaska Congressional Delegation

Amicus Brief of Assn of Alaska Housing Authorities

Amicus Brief of Cook Inlet Region Inc.

Amicus Brief of the Alaska Federation of Natives

Amicus Brief of the State of Alaska

Amicus Briefs Supporting Respondents:

Amicus Brief of Academics

Amicus Brief of Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria

Amicus Brief of Raul Grijalva

Amicus Brief of the States

Amicus Brief of Tribal Organizations

Cert Stage Briefs

Mnuchin v Chehalis Cert Petition

Alaska Native Corps Cert Petition

Members of Congress Amicus Brief

State of Alaska Amicus Brief

Chehalis Brief in Opposition

Ute Tribe BIO

Cheyenne River Sioux BIO


Federal Petitioner’s Reply

D.C. Circuit materials:


Chehalis et al Brief

Navajo et al Brief

NCAI Brief


US Brief

Alaska Federation of Natives Amicus Brief

Cook Inlet Region Amicus Brief

Chehalis et al Reply

Navajo et al Reply

District Court materials:

1 Complaint

3 Complaint

4 Motion for TRO

5 Motion for TRO

21 US Brief

23 Ahtna Amicus Brief

25 Gila River Amicus Brief

30 Chehalis Reply

36 DCT Order


77 Chehalis MSJ

78-1 Alaska Corps MSJ

79-1 Mnuchin MSJ

81 AFN Brief

82 NCAI Amicus Brief

97 DCT Order

99 Chelahis Motion for Stay Pending Appeal

102 Calista Response

103 Federal Response

104 ANC Response

105 Ahtna Response

106 Chehalis Reply

107 DCT Order on Stay

Govind Persad on Allocating Medicine Fairly in an Unfair Pandemic

Govind Persad has posted “Allocating Medicine Fairly in an Unfair Pandemic,” forthcoming in the University of Illinois Law Review, on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

America’s COVID-19 pandemic has both devastated and disparately harmed minority communities. In this Article, I focus on the pressing question of how the allocation of scarce treatments for COVID-19 and similar public health threats should respond to these racial disparities. Many policymakers and popular commentators have recognized that the inevitable initial scarcity of vaccines presents questions about racial disparity. Therapeutics like monoclonal antibodies raise similar questions, as do emergency interventions such as ventilators and ICU beds. Some have proposed that members of racial groups who have been especially hard-hit by the pandemic should receive priority for scarce treatments. Others have worried that this prioritization misidentifies racial disparities as reflecting biological differences rather than structural racism, or that it will generate mistrust among groups who have previously been harmed by medical research. Still others complain that such prioritization would be fundamentally unjust.

In Part II, I provide a brief overview of current and proposed COVID-19 treatments and identify documented or likely scarcities and disparities in access. In Part III, I argue that randomly allocating scarce medical interventions, as some propose, will not effectively address disparities: it both permits unnecessary deaths and concentrates those deaths among people who are more exposed to infection. In Part IV, I explain why using individual-level racial classifications in allocation is precluded by current Supreme Court precedent. Addressing disparities will require focusing on factors other than race, or potentially considering race at an aggregate rather than individual level. I also argue that policies prioritizing members of Native American tribes can succeed legally even where policies based on race would not. In Part V, I examine two complementary strategies to narrow racial disparities. One would prioritize individuals who live in disadvantaged geographic areas or work in hard-hit occupations, potentially alongside race-sensitive aggregate metrics like neighborhood segregation. These approaches, like the policies school districts adopted after the Supreme Court rejected individualized racial classifications in education, would narrow disparities without classifying individuals by race. The other strategy would address the starkly disparate racial impact of deaths early in life by limiting the use of policies that explicitly deprioritize the prevention of early deaths, and by considering policies that prioritize their prevention.