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DOJ submits brief in support of Cherokee father in ICWA case

As anticipated, the Department of Justice has filed an amicus brief in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, an Indian Child Welfare Act case that's before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The brief supports Dusten Brown, a member of the Cherokee Nation whose rights are at issue in the case. Government attorneys urged the Supreme Court to affirm a South Carolina decision that prevented Brown's biological daughter from being adopted by a non-Indian couple.

"Congress has plenary authority over Indian affairs and it permissibly used that authority to protect against state laws and procedures that were improperly separating Indian children from Indian communities, thus eroding tribes' viability," the brief states.

The Supreme Court will hear the case on April 16. The National Congress of American Indians and the Native American Rights Fund have been lining up support from tribes and national groups in an effort to avoid a decision that might erode ICWA.

South Carolina Supreme Court Decision:
Adoptive Couple v. Cherokee Nation (July 26, 2012)

Related Stories:
Wisbar News: Possible brief in Supreme Court's ICWA dispute (3/8)
Tribes line up support as Supreme Court takes up ICWA dispute (3/6)
Blog: Supreme Court hears Cherokee Nation ICWA case in April (3/5)
Supreme Court to hear Cherokee Nation ICWA case on April 16 (02/14)
NYT Debate: Indian Child Welfare Act and the Supreme Court (01/25)
Supreme Court ruling could impact ICWA cases nationwide (1/14)
Analysis: Media fails in coverage of Cherokee ICWA dispute (1/14)
Supreme Court takes first Indian Child Welfare Act case in years (1/7)
Supreme Court considers petition in Cherokee Nation ICWA case (1/4)

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