U.S. Supreme Court Arguments in Indian Child Welfare Act "ICWA" Case Set for April 16
The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for April 16 in the case of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. The case involves important issues relating to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), including whether an Indian parent could object to an adoption of his child even though, under state law, he lacked parental standing and whether the ICWA applies when a child is not in an Indian home (see our February Update). The April argument means that the Court will almost certainly issue its decision before the end of its term in June.
The Court is waiting to hear the views of the Solicitor General of the United States before deciding whether to review two other Indian law cases. Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community presents the question whether tribal sovereign immunity bars the state from enforcing alleged violations of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (see our September 2012 Update). The issue in Madison County v. Oneida Indian Nation is the status of the New York Oneida Tribe's reservation (see our November 2011 Update).