Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Child welfare law is battered by court. Still standing

The Indian Child Welfare Act is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court


It comes with the territory. Along with her new title, Deb Haaland, secretary of the Interior inherited top billing as the lead defendant in the latest decision in an ongoing case challenging the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Previously the case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit was entitled Brackeen v. Bernhardt naming Haaland’s predecessor David Bernhardt as lead defendant. The baton has passed; the case is now entitled Brackeen v. Haaland.

The lead plaintiffs in the case are Chad and Jennifer Brackeen, a couple who filed a lawsuit in 2017 in Texas seeking to adopt a 2-year-old Navajo boy over a Navajo family who were available to take the boy. Although the Brackeens won their case in Texas district court in 2018 and finalized their adoption, the couple joined several other plaintiffs including the states of Texas, Louisiana and Indiana in challenging the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act in the 5th District Court of Appeals.


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