A.D. v. Washburn–ICWA Class Action Suit

Complaint here.

Quite the first paragraph:

By honoring the moral imperatives enshrined in our Constitution, this nation has successfully shed much of its history of legally sanctioned discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity. We have seen in vivid, shameful detail how separate treatment is inherently unequal. Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483, 495 (1954). There can be no law under our Constitution that creates and applies pervasive separate and unequal treatment to individuals based on a quantum of blood tracing to a particular race or ethnicity. This country committed itself to that principle when it ratified the Fourteenth Amendment and overturned Dred Scott v. Sandford, 60 U.S. 393 (1857), and when it abandoned Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537 (1896).

This complaint goes directly at the right of tribes to determine their tribal citizenry. From this paragraph on, the complaint bases everything on the “child’s race” or “Indian ancestry” and their “unequal treatment” under ICWA:

Most Indian tribes have only blood quantum or lineage requirements as prerequisites for membership. See Miss. Band of Choctaw Indians Const. art. III, § 1; Cherokee Nation Const. art. IV, § 1; Choctaw Nation of Okla. Const. art. II, § 1; Muscogee (Creek) Nation Const. art. III, § 2; Gila River Indian Community Const. art. III, § 1; Navajo Nation Code § 701; Guidelines for State Courts and Agencies in Indian Child Custody Proceedings, 80 Fed. Reg. 10146, 10153, B.3 (February 25, 2015) (“New Guidelines”). Consequently, ICWA’s definition of “Indian child” is based solely on the child’s race or ancestry.

The Goldwater Institute’s roll out and website regarding the case. This is highly funded, highly professional media campaign.

This entry was posted in Author: Kate E. Fort, Child Welfare, ICWA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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