Indianz.Com on SoundCloud: Brackeen v. Bernhardt

AUDIO: 5th Circuit Court of Appeals oral arguments in Brackeen v. Zinke

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has posted audio from the hearing in Brackeen v. Bernhardt.

Arguments were heard in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Wednesday morning. The outcome of the case will determine whether the Indian Child Welfare Act can continue to protect Indian children, who are removed from their homes at higher rates than their peers.

The case is assigned to a panel of three judges: Jacques L. Wiener, Jr.; James L. Dennis; and Priscilla R. Owen. They heard first from Eric Grant, a deputy assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice, and then Adam Charnes, an attorney who advocated for tribal interests. Both asked the court to overturn a decision that struck down ICWA as unconstitutional for the first time in its 40-year history.

The judges then heard from Matthew McGill, an attorney representing the non-Indian plaintiffs who want to adopt Indian children without following ICWA. Kyle Hawkins, the Solicitor General of Texas, went next. Both called on the court to affirm the ruling that invalidated ICWA.

Grant and Charnes followed up with some short rebuttals before the judges took the case under advisement. There is no indication when they might issue a decision but they previously fast-tracked the case in order to resolve it as quickly as possible.

The entire hearing lasted about 90 minutes. Listen to the arguments in Brackeen v. Bernhardt on the Indianz.Com SoundCloud.

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