The Supreme Court struggles with cases dealing with the rights of Native American tribes.

The Supreme Court is grappling with a case dealing with the rights of Native American tribes that appeared to clash with a conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, hearing arguments challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act, known by the acronym “ICWA.” The law was enacted more than 40 years ago after a congressional investigation revealed that public and private agencies had expelled a third of all Native children from their homes and kept most of them in institutions or homes unrelated to Native American tribes. ICWA has established minimum federal standards for the removal of indigenous children from their homes. It required the state court to notify the tribe when an American Indian child is removed from the family, giving priority to the child’s extended family in foster and adoption placement, and then to other members of the tribe, but not both. If possible, prefer children who are placed in other tribes. In court on Wednesday, lawyers for Texas and non-native adoptive parents told judges that the ICWA violates the Constitution through racial discrimination. However, the tribes and the US government countered that the courts had long regarded American Indians as a political rather than a racial group. Some Supreme Court justices have pointed out that if the courts reverse the ICWA, the “corps” of cases dating back to the early days of the republic should likewise be dismissed. Judge Neil Gorsuch noted that the Constitution gives Congress full power, or full power, to make legislation on behalf of American Indians. Like many other judges, he said that the opposition to the ICWA was actually the opposition to the policy choices Congress had adopted in the law. Your argument is “better handled across the street,” he said. This means that some people, if they don’t like the law, have to go to Congress, not the courts. Justice Samuel Alito admitted that “to be honest” “I had a lot of trouble dealing with this question.” Article 1 of the Constitution gives Congress full power to legislate political groups on behalf of Indians. “If plenary means plenary session, parliament can do whatever it wants… it’s easy,” said Alito. But, he said, “if there is a limit, it’s hard to know where that limit is.” Court liberals joined Gorsuch, noting that the courts had long viewed American Indians as a political rather than a racial group. Tribes are considered separate sovereigns under the Constitution. Congress has for centuries viewed treaties with Indian tribes as providing federal responsibility to support tribal self-government and economic prosperity, an obligation under government treaty guarantees that protect Indian tribes and respect their sovereignty. Judge Elena Kagan noted that the ICWA was established for a specific purpose. This was to protect the tribe’s survival at a time when large numbers of Aboriginal children were often forcibly taken out of their homes. Gorsuch, a Western conservative who was a staunch supporter of Indigenous rights, said what would happen if the ICWA collapsed? Government Under Attorney General Edwin Kneedler said many other programs established for Native Americans could fail, including programs that provide health care for Indians and laws that protect American Indian lands, fisheries, and hunting rights. answered yes. , based on treaties with the US government. However, some conservative justices pointed out that the courts did not, nor did they accept, laws that forbade the adoption of children by parents of other races. They pointed out that it would be a clear example of racism. Texas Attorney General Judd Stone argued that even if Congress had legislative power to protect tribes, Congress had no power to ask the state to enforce laws. Justice Sonia Sotomayor pointed out a variety of other federal laws that require states to comply with federal standards rather than state standards. For example, a law that states that deployed military personnel cannot conduct related custody or adoption hearings. Those who challenged the ICWA argued that Congress could not legislate non-reserved American Indians. In the West, Judge Gorsearch came to observe that American Indians live on “checkerboard” lands with many people on the reserve, and that their Indian neighbors live close, but not on the reserve. However, Chief Justice Roberts and his conservative colleagues Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, and Alito have repeatedly focused on the ICWA’s third preference for placement in tribal families instead of adoption by non-Indigenous families. As Roberts put it, “whether competence is a threshold or … an institution permitted to consider the relative best interests of the child’s two proposed placements”. Deputy Attorney General Kneedler said the purpose of the ICWA is to prevent children from being alienated from “families, extended families, tribes and kin.” However, the Chief Justice appeared to be fixed on the “third preference” of the classes that generally favored Indian placement. “Do you think ICWA incorporates the familiar best interests of children’s inquiry?” he asked. Tribal Ian Gershengorn replied that the ICWA imposed tribal priority because Congress found that the best interests of the child standard were applied in a discriminatory way and disadvantaged Indians. In this case, he said, there is no ‘third preference’ under consideration. In addition, the ICWA has provisions allowing for “best interest” waivers in some cases, he said. “He said it was clear that removing 30% of children from a political community would harm that political community,” said Judge Kagan. But she said, “Some of the strong feelings about this case are yes, but what about the children?… Are you saying that the political community is more important than the well-being of children?” replied that there was no Cases submitted to court should not be subject to review, he said. He pointed out to the judges that this is a “challenge to the face” and that to win, contenders must prove that the application of the law is unconstitutional. However, he said, unlike most cases that come to court, this case was not entirely brought up in lower courts. The case brought by the main plaintiff of a white couple seeking to adopt an American Indian child has no facts. In fact, the case is due to be tried in Texas next month.
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