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Tribe Loses Again in Court Over Attempts to Stop North Dakota Pipeline

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The Native Americans fighting the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota have lost again.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled this week against the request of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe to stop completion of the $3.8 billion pipeline on the basis of religious freedom arguments.

Judge James Boasberg, who ruled against the tribe earlier, issued an order Tuesday night repeating his previous findings that the tribe lacks a strong claim under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“The court believes that Plaintiff does not have a strong case on appeal, and an injunction here, unlike a stay in some of the cases cited by Cheyenne River, would not preserve the status quo,” wrote the judge.

Tribal attorneys contend that once the oil pipeline is completed under Lake Oahe located a half-mile north of the Standing rock Indian Reservation would desecrate waters used in Lakota sacraments.

The tribe apparently will make its next case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Attorneys for the Army Corps of Engineers responded by contending the tribe is trying to “re-litigate” already settled issues.