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U.S. Supreme Court Decides To Uphold The Indian Child Welfare Act

The U.S. Supreme Court decided to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act Thursday. In a 7-2 vote, judges agreed to uphold a 1978 law that prioritizes Native American adoptees staying within their tribes. The case was raised by a white foster couple who hoped to adopt a newborn girl after having adopted her brother a year earlier, both born to a Navajo mother and a Cherokee Father. The young girl’s great-aunt, who lives on a reservation, filed for custody and appealed the case. Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote about the ruling on behalf of the majority. On the ruling Barrett says, “The issues are complicated. But the bottom line is that we reject all of petitioners’ challenges to the statute, some on the merits and others for lack of standing.” Former Navajo Nation President Jonathon Nez is in Washington D.C. and said outside of the Supreme Court building, “I think this is a ruling that will continue to strengthen the sovereignty of the Navajo Nation.” He adds, “our children staying with our tribes, our nations, our family and our people. This is what this law is all about.”


Daisy Johnston