Dear USET/USET SPF Family,
As we await the Supreme Court's decision in Brackeen v. Haaland, it is necessary to prepare for any impacts to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the diplomatic, political relationship between Tribal Nations and the United States, and Tribal sovereignty. Join USET SPF and special guests next week prior to our the 2023 USET-BIA-IHS Partnership Meeting and USET Semi-Annual Board of Directors Meeting for a discussion about how to navigate and respond to potential consequences from the upcoming decision.
Brackeen Post-Decision Implications
Monday, June 12, 2023
11:00 am ET/10:00 am CT
- David Simmons, Government Affairs and Advocacy Director, National Indian Child Welfare Association
- Mariah Meyerholz, Government Affairs & Community Development Specialist, National Indian Child
Welfare Association (NICWA) (invited)
- Gregory A. Smith, Partner, Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker (virtual)
- Katie Klass, Partner, Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker (virtual)
On November 9, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Brackeen v. Haaland. This case challenges the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA), which is a federal law that was enacted in response to the disgraceful history and practice of separating Native American children from their families during adoption proceedings. Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker has provided a detailed overview of the oral arguments heard in this case. To listen to a recording of the o\ral arguments during the Supreme Court proceeding, please click here.
USET SPF continues to join a critical mass of Tribal Nations and partner organizations in efforts to defend the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and its implementing regulations. Most recently, we joined 497 Tribal Nations and 62 Tribal organizations in signing onto an amicus brief. The Tribal Nation and organization brief argues that ICWA is an appropriate exercise of the federal government’s trust and treaty obligations and that ICWA’s political classifications are an appropriate exercise of Congressional authority that directly support Tribal sovereignty and further the best interests of Native American children.
If the Supreme Court is persuaded by race-based arguments, a decision could have disastrous consequences for both ICWA and other federal Indian law and policy that is based on our political relationship with the United States. With this in mind, we remain vigilant and committed to defending ICWA, Tribal sovereignty, and our unique relationship with the federal government. The Supreme Court is expected to issue its opinion in this case shortly. USET SPF will monitor the situation carefully and provide further information as it develops.
For more information, please contact Liz Malerba, USET SPF Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, at email@example.com.