Interview with Matthew Fletcher on being cited in ICWA ruling

PrawsfBlawg interviews professor Matthew Fletcher of Turtle Talk about being cited by Justice Clarence Thomas in the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, an Indian Child Welfare Act case:
Congratulations on being cited in the Supreme Court. What was the work and how was it used?

The work is The Supreme Court and Federal Indian Policy, 85 Neb. L. Rev. 121 (2006). Justice Thomas quoted me in his concurrence arguing in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (No. 12-399) that Congress likely did not have authority to enact the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. § 1901 et seq. The quote was in a parenthetical and read: "As a matter of federal constitutional law, the Indian Commerce Clause grants Congress the only explicit constitutional authority to deal with Indian tribes".

In your work, do you see the Supreme Court and other courts as the primary audience, are you writing for other scholars, or do you target both?

At the time I wrote this piece (summer of 2005), I was untenured and writing for second-year law students, hoping for the best placement possible. I guess that also means I was writing for other scholars in the field who focused on Indian law and the commerce clause. I am more cognizant of my audience now. I now focus particular papers on particular audiences -- tribal judges, Indian lawyers, and other scholars. Occasionally I do try to target national policymakers, including Congress and the courts. I was pretty successful, if I don't say so myself, with a paper I wrote on the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which has been cited by five different courts.

Get the Story:
Matthew L.M. Fletcher: Cited in the Supreme Court (PrawsfBlawg 7/9)

Supreme Court Decision:
Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (June 25, 2013)

Oral Argument Transcript:
Adoptive Couple v. Cherokee Nation (April 16, 2013)

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

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Supreme Court issues order to finalize decision in ICWA case (7/1)
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Turtle Talk: More thoughts on Supreme Court ICWA decision (6/27)
Native Sun News: Supreme Court goes against Indian father (6/27)
Kevin Abourezk: Nebraska reaction to decision in ICWA case (6/26)
Jennifer Gapetz: Baby Veronica is a Cherokee Nation citizen (6/26)
Lots of Links: Coverage of Indian Child Welfare Act decision (6/26)
Supreme Court rules against Cherokee father in ICWA dispute (6/25)
Cherokee Chief: Baby girl should remain with biological father (6/25)
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Turtle Talk: Initial impressions of Supreme Court's ICWA ruling (6/25)
Opinion: We fought the Cherokee Nation to keep adopted child (6/25)

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