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Supreme Court declines to review Cherokee Nation ICWA case
Posted: Monday, May 21, 2012
U.S. Supreme Court
today declined a petition in
Nielson v. Ketchum
Indian Child Welfare Act
A non-Indian couple adopted a boy who was automatically enrolled in the
under the tribe's temporary citizenship law. But the
10th Circuit Court of Appeals
said the child was not an "Indian" because his mother wasn't enrolled at the time of his birth.
"The ICWA explicitly defines 'Indian child' as 'any unmarried person who is under age eighteen and is . . . a
of an Indian tribe,'" the court said, quoting from the law.
"We find that Congress did not intend the ICWA to authorize this sort of gamesmanship on the part of a tribe—e.g. to authorize a temporary and nonjurisdictional citizenship upon a nonconsenting person in order to invoke ICWA protections," the unanimous decision from April 2011 stated.
The Cherokee Nation appealed to the Supreme Court but the justices declined to review the case in an
10th Circuit Decision:
Nielson v. Ketchum
(April 5, 2011)
Utah couple 'thrilled' with 10th Circuit decision in ICWA dispute
Court rebuffs Cherokee Nation in Indian Child Welfare Act ruling
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