How to Use this Blog

Howdy! We've amassed tons of information and important history on this blog since 2010. If you have a keyword, use the search box below. Also check out the reference section above. If you have a question or need help searching, use the contact form at the bottom of the blog.
ALSO, if you buy any of the books at the links provided, the editor will earn a small amount of money or commission. (we thank you) (that is our disclaimer statement)

This is a blog. It is not a peer-reviewed journal, not a sponsored publication... The ideas, news and thoughts posted are sourced… or written by the editor or contributors.

2019: This blog was ranked #50 in top 100 blogs about adoption. Let's make it #1...

2019: WE NEED A TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION Commission in the US now for the Adoption Programs that stole generations of children... Goldwater Institute's work to dismantle ICWA is another glaring attempt at cultural genocide.


Search This Blog

Sunday, December 13, 2015

VICTORY!!! Federal Judge Dismisses Anti-ICWA Suit


TWO WORLDS, first person narratives of adoptees before ICWA
By Suzette Brewer | ICT 12/11/15


On Thursday a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed a suit challenging both the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act and the new federal guidelines that were implemented last February by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, citing a lack of subject matter jurisdiction and standing in the case.

Last May, the Alexandria, Virginia-based National Council for Adoption (NCFA) and Surprise, Arizona-based Building Arizona Families (BAF), filed suit against Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn, claiming that ICWA “violates the birth parents’ rights to due process under the Fifth Amendment by interfering with their ability to direct the upbringing of their ‘Indian’ children.”

The complainants, represented pro bono by Washington, D.C., attorney Lori Alvino McGill and her husband Matthew McGill, also took issue with the new guidelines saying that they impose “significant” burdens on state agencies and adoption firms in seeking to place Indian children with ICWA-compliant homes. The guidelines, which do not carry the force of law, were published in the Federal Registry in February after a vigorous collaboration between the tribes and the federal government to improve compliance and enforcement of the federal statute enacted in 1978 to protect the cohesion of Indian families.

But United States District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee dismissed the suit, ruling among other things, that the plaintiffs lack standing; the guidelines are not subject to trial because they do not create legal rights and obligations; the guidelines are non-binding; and that the guidelines “do not commandeer” state entities. Additionally, Judge Lee held that the plaintiffs had not demonstrated any authority to support their claims under due process, equal protection or the Indian Commerce Clause.

According to legal experts across the country, the ruling was significant because the court not only dismissed on a lack of standing, but also addressed the merits of the case in explicit detail. For example, even if guidelines were legally binding on state courts, Judge Lee ruled that neither the guidelines, nor ICWA violated any of the claimed constitutional rights asserted by the plaintiffs.

“[The dismissal] is a big win for ICWA and Indian country,” said Chrissi Nimmo, Senior Assistant Attorney General for the Cherokee Nation, the nation’s largest Indian tribe. “The Court found that the adoption industry plaintiffs failed to put forth a ‘plausible’ claim, and reiterated the long standing legal precedent that laws based on tribal membership are not race-based and instead apply because of the unique political status of tribal members.”

The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA), who had submitted an amicus brief in the case, also applauded the decision.

“We’re pleased at the outcome of this case. The court resolutely rejected not simply the National Council for Adoption and others’ standing, but more significantly, the court rejected the very foundation of their constitutional arguments,” said Dr. Sarah Kastelic, executive director of NICWA.

“Because their constitutional arguments are very similar to those in the other coordinated federal court litigation brought forth by well-resourced, anti-ICWA opponents, it bolsters our belief that these cases will also be found without merit, and that our Native children will continue to benefit from the hard-fought protections that ICWA affords.”

Please visit Indian Country Today Media Network for continued coverage of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
Follow Suzette Brewer on Twitter @suzette_brewer

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/12/11/federal-judge-dismisses-anti-icwa-suit-162743
 
Related:  BIA Releases New ICWA Guidelines
Related: War of Words: ICWA Faces Multiple Assaults from Adoption Industry 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please: Share your reaction, your thoughts, and your opinions. Be passionate, be unapologetic. Offensive remarks will not be published. We are getting more and more spam. Comments will be monitored.
Use the comment form at the bottom of this website which is private and sent direct to Trace.

Survivors, write your stories. Write your parents stories. Write the elders stories. Do not be swayed by the colonizers to keep quiet. Tribal Nations have their own way of keeping stories alive.... Trace

Help in available!

Help in available!
1-844-7NATIVE (click photo)

click to listen

Diane Tells His Name

Please support NARF

Indian Country is under attack. Native tribes and people are fighting hard for justice. There is need for legal assistance across Indian Country, and NARF is doing as much as we can. With your help, we have fought for 48 years and we continue to fight.

It is hard to understand the extent of the attacks on Indian Country. We are sending a short series of emails this month with a few examples of attacks that are happening across Indian Country and how we are standing firm for justice.

Today, we look at recent effort to undo laws put in place to protect Native American children and families. All children deserve to be raised by loving families and communities. In the 1970s, Congress realized that state agencies and courts were disproportionately removing American Indian and Alaska Native children from their families. Often these devastating removals were due to an inability or unwillingness to understand Native cultures, where family is defined broadly and raising children is a shared responsibility. To stop these destructive practices, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).

After forty years, ICWA has proven to be largely successful and many states have passed their own ICWAs. This success, however, is now being challenged by large, well-financed opponents who are actively and aggressively seeking to undermine ICWA’s protections for Native children. We are seeing lawsuits across the United States that challenge ICWA’s protections. NARF is working with partners to defend the rights of Native children and families.

Indian Country is under attack. We need you. Please join the ranks of Modern Day Warriors. Please donate today to help Native people protect their rights.

where were you adopted?

where were you adopted?

To Veronica Brown

Veronica, we adult adoptees are thinking of you today and every day. We will be here when you need us. Your journey in the adopted life has begun, nothing can revoke that now, the damage cannot be undone. Be courageous, you have what no adoptee before you has had; a strong group of adult adoptees who know your story, who are behind you and will always be so.

Join!

National Indigenous Survivors of Child Welfare Network (NISCWN)

Membership Application Form

The Network is open to all Indigenous and Foster Care Survivors any time.

The procedure is simple: Just fill out the form HERE.

Source Link: NICWSN Membership

ADOPTION TRUTH

As the single largest unregulated industry in the United States, adoption is viewed as a benevolent action that results in the formation of “forever families.”
The truth is that it is a very lucrative business with a known sales pitch. With profits last estimated at over $1.44 billion dollars a year, mothers who consider adoption for their babies need to be very aware that all of this promotion clouds the facts and only though independent research can they get an accurate account of what life might be like for both them and their child after signing the adoption paperwork.

Dawnland 2018