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Supreme Court set to rule in Indian Child Welfare Act case

The U.S. Supreme Court met again this morning but did not release its highly-anticipated decision in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, an Indian Child Welfare Act case.

The justices will be back in session tomorrow so a decision might come then. It's also possible they might wait until later in the week.

The justices heard the case on April 16. This week is the last opportunity for the court to release decisions from the current term.

The case has drawn significant attention. The outcome will determine whether Dusten Brown, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, can retain custody of his daughter.

With the backing of the Cherokee Nation, Brown successfully objected when the non-Indian mother arranged for an adoption of their child by a non-Indian couple in South Carolina. The couple asked the Supreme Court to hear the case and has called for changes in ICWA to make it harder for tribes to intervene.

The last Supreme Court ICWA case was Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield in 1989. The court determined that the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians had jurisdiction in an adoption dispute.

Oral Argument Transcript:
Adoptive Couple v. Cherokee Nation (April 16, 2013)

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

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