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Supreme Court takes up dispute over Indian Child Welfare Act





Update: The Supreme Court has posted the oral argument transcript.

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, an Indian Child Welfare Act, today.

Oral arguments begin at 10am. During the one-hour hearing, the court will hear from the attorney for the non-Indian couple that wants to adopt an Indian child; the attorney for the guardian ad litem for the child; the attorney for Dusten Brown, the Cherokee Nation father who regained custody of his daughter and the Department of Justice, which is supporting Brown.

The dispute has attracted significant national attention, with 24 briefs filed in support of Brown and ICWA. Indian Country is well represented, with 333 tribes signing onto briefs.

"It is time to do the right thing and let a father raise the daughter he loves," Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker said on a conference call yesterday.

The oral argument transcript will be posted later today on the Supreme Court website. Audio of the hearing will be available by the end of the week.

Get the Story:
Supreme Court to hear child custody fight; at crux is law on tribal rights (The Christian Science Monitor 4/15)
Oklahoma Adoption Case Before Supreme Court Has National Implications (News 9 4/15)
American Indian tribes to pay close attention to Supreme Court oral arguments on custody case (KJRH 4/15)
Portland group plays role in Native American adoption case before Supreme Court (The Oregonian 4/16)
Adoption Case Brings Rare Family Law Dispute To High Court (NPR 4/16)
Dorman High grad's case to be heard by US Supreme Court (GoUpstate.Com 4/16)
How the Baby Veronica case could play out (WCIV-TV 4/16)
Definition of ICWA 'parent' focal point of Baby Veronica argument (WCSC-TV 4/16)
Group proposes changes to Indian adoption law (The Tulsa World 4/16)

South Carolina Supreme Court Decision:
Adoptive Couple v. Cherokee Nation (July 26, 2012)

Related Stories:
Tribes gear up for big battle with Supreme Court's ICWA case (4/15)
Column: Supreme Court set to hear racially-tinged ICWA case (4/15)
ICT interview with Cherokee Nation attorney on ICWA dispute (4/11)
Supreme Court sets times for oral argument in ICWA dispute (4/2)
Turtle Talk: Guide to briefs in Supreme Court's ICWA dispute (3/29)
DOJ submits brief in support of Cherokee father in ICWA case (3/18)
Wisbar News: Possible brief in Supreme Court's ICWA dispute (3/8)
Tribes line up support as Supreme Court takes up ICWA dispute (3/6)
Blog: Supreme Court hears Cherokee Nation ICWA case in April (3/5)
Supreme Court to hear Cherokee Nation ICWA case on April 16 (02/14)
NYT Debate: Indian Child Welfare Act and the Supreme Court (01/25)
Supreme Court ruling could impact ICWA cases nationwide (1/14)
Analysis: Media fails in coverage of Cherokee ICWA dispute (1/14)
Supreme Court takes first Indian Child Welfare Act case in years (1/7)
Supreme Court considers petition in Cherokee Nation ICWA case (1/4)