This lawsuit challenged the sections of the Oklahoma state ICWA statute (OICWA) concerning notice and intervention of tribes in voluntary proceedings. This case was first filed back in the summer of 2015. On March 31st, the Court agreed with Cherokee Nation’s most recent motion to dismiss as moot. All documents are here.
This means that of the federal lawsuits filed in the summer of 2015, only one currently survives (the sister suit to this one in Minnesota). It also means we have not received an adverse decision in any of them. This is great news, and a testament to the work of the tribal, federal, and state attorneys who had to defend against these suits.
However, it is also true that the Goldwater Institute has inserted itself into a growing number of state ICWA cases, and those cases are multiplying rapidly at the state level. The stated end goal of the Institute–to have ICWA found unconstitutional–remains, and they have not stopped working towards it.
We will be giving case status updates at both NICWA (Matt Newman, NARF) and the Federal Bar conference (Kate Fort) this year.