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The Indian Child Welfare Act is before the Supreme Court. What is it?

From May 4-May 13, the public will be able to hear audio of Supreme Court arguments live for the first time ever.
From May 4-May 13, the public will be able to hear audio of Supreme Court arguments live for the first time ever.

Almost a decade ago, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl

The 2013 case hinged on several provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act, a piece of federal law that gives tribal governments exclusive jurisdiction over children who reside on a reservation. 

Fast forward to 2022 and the Indian Child Welfare Act is before the country’s highest courtyet again.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments inthe caseHaaland v. Brackeen.That’sanotherlegal actionabout who gets precedencewhen it comes to adopting Native children.

Whatdoes the Indian Child Welfare Actreally do? And if the Court strikes it down, what would that mean for tribal law, and for Native Americans? 

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Paige Osburn