Justice Scalia has served on the Supreme Court for more than a quarter of a century, and he has seen his share of difficult cases. But one stuck out.
“It was pretty early on in my time on this court,” he said. “We had a case in which a very wealthy rancher and his wife had adopted a child of a young man and woman on an Indian reservation who had had the child out of wedlock. And they gave the child to the rancher to raise.”
A state court in Mississippi had approved the arrangement. But a federal law, the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, required tribal rather than state courts to decide.
“The kid was, I think, 5 years old or so” by the time the case reached the Supreme Court, Justice Scalia recalled. “And we had to turn that child over to the tribal council. I found that very hard. But that’s what the law said, without a doubt.”
Justice Scalia’s recollection of the case, from 1989, was understandably a little hazy. It involved 3-year-old twins, and their adoptive father had died by the time the case was decided.
But he had the main point right. In various ways, the 1978 law he cited makes it hard to remove American Indian children from their parents, their tribes and their heritage.
Read the story here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/25/us/american-indian-adoption-case-comes-to-supreme-court.html?smid=pl-share&_r=0
Will the Supreme Court take this case? I wager they won't. ICWA is law. Trace