Here is today’s order.
Update — BLT coverage here.
Can you explain what this means?
I would agree with Mr. Fletcher’s first sentence. Each case is decided on it’s own merits. The facts and laws of each case are different and solely determinative of the outcome. I’m very familiar with the facts of this one, as well as the laws involved, and I can tell you that they overwhelmingly support Baby Girl, the Birth Father, and the Cherokee Nation. Of course, one never knows what any court will do, but chances are always good that the High Court will come down on the side of the law in any given case.
It means that the Supreme Court has decided to hear this case. It didn’t have to, but it decided that it’s an important enough case with national implications that it would review it. And since about 70 percent of cases it hears it reverses, it stands to reason that most grants are made with an eye toward reversing the lower court.
I would agree with Mr. Fletcher’s first sentence and nothing more. Each case is decided on it’s own merits. The facts of each case are different and solely determinative of the outcome. I’m very familiar with the facts of this one, as well as the laws involved, and I can tell you that they overwhelmingly support Baby Girl, the Birth Father, and the Cherokee Nation. Of course, one never knows what any court will do, but chances are always good that the High Court will come down on the side of the law in any given case.
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Will be interesting to see where the “twist” lies in this case versus other ICWA cases similarly situated and already decided in several federal courts. The act says that the father can intervene at any time during the process — the family was living with the idea that adoption was nearly final or final before the father was in the picture. I recognize the significance of the claims of the adoptive parents and sympathize with them but empathy doesn’t always win in the Supreme Court and especially where federal laws have authority over these cases. My concern is when the father was given notice of the adoption and the question of definining further what a “good faith effort” really means to states, vs. the federal government vs. the parties. That’s where the real question lies, in that “good faith effort” to notify the Indian parent when a child is given up for adoption from mixed relationships. It’s too common of an issue, I guess, for the SCt. not to take up, but sad that we are still arguing rights of ICWA here in the year 2013 when this act has been around since 1978 and the kinks are not worked out because of years of ignorance of the ICWA law by states and state social services departments!
If anyone wants to know the true facts regarding this case, or the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, you can find them both here, along with links to any information you could possibly need regarding the ICWA, including links to the legislative history of the ICWA and even recordings of oral arguments in the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield case which was heard by the SCOTUS:
My fear is they have granted cert to somehow repeal ICWA. The case itself doesn’t seem to have any legal questions. The bio father is clearly a “parent” under ICWA. I am wondering if somehow they will find Congress doesn’t have the power to enact ICWA under the Indian Commerce Clause and it is an unconstitutional infringement on states’ rights.
I was reading an article about Justice Scalia and one of his regrets was the outcome of Holyfield!! That stance on his part scares me as he is so anti-tribal! It concerns me greatly. The practice of outcome determinations as to tribal matters in the high court could be a problem with this case.
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