U.S. Congress preps for ICWA Supreme Court decision
First congressional examination of current litigation.
WASHINGTON — In preparation for a fast-approaching U.S. Supreme Court decision on the fate of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Democratic minority members are holding a roundtable discussion this morning regarding the longstanding law that affirms tribal sovereignty in Indian child adoption cases.
RELATED: “Indian Child Welfare Act again reaches U.S. Supreme Court. The basics of ICWA and why the high court is reviewing it now.”
Native advocates have expressed widespread concern that if the 1978 law is struck down, not only will Indian adoptees suffer because they could be places with non-tribal families, but a major blow to tribal sovereignty could also occur because tribes could have their jurisdiction over such matters obscured.
A slippery slope for other tribal sovereignty and jurisdictional issues could also thus be in the making.
RELATED: Tribes urged to sign amicus brief to protect Indian Child Welfare Act
A decision by the high court is expected later this spring, perhaps as late as mid-June on the pending case, over which the Supremes heard oral arguments in November.
“House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) will host a virtual roundtable to discuss the history and significance of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA),” according to a statement from his office.
“ICWA is a more than 40-year-old law that protects the well-being and best interests of Native children and families in state child welfare systems. In the past several years, ICWA has faced a series of legal challenges, the most prominent being the Brackeen v. Haaland Supreme Court case.
“The virtual roundtable will feature expert panelists to discuss the history of ICWA and the role Congress can play to strengthen ICWA and protect Native children and families.”
Of note, according to Grijalva: “This is the first congressional convening to examine ICWA since the onset of recent litigation efforts.”
Panelists scheduled to appear are:
Jack Trope, Senior Director for Indian Child Welfare Programs, Casey Family Programs
Veronica Krupnick, Foster Youth Advocacy Programs Coordinator, CASA First
The Honorable Karen Returns to War, Co-Chair, Northern Arapaho Tribe
Prof. Maggie Blackhawk, Professor of Law, NYU School of Law
Watch the full session above, scheduled to begin at 11 a.m ET.
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Rob, have you or anyone else had audio difficulty with this recording? Starting at the 13:38 mark, there is a mish-mash of multiple voices. It sounds like looping audio from conversations while they were preparing to start the presentation. This mish-mash lasts for about two minutes, followed by 9 seconds of silence, whereupon the audio is OK.