California court won't upset placement of Choctaw Nation child

After losing in the court system, a non-Indian couple and their attorney have waged a public relations campaign against the Indian Child Welfare Act. Photo by Keely Brazil / Twitter

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to intervene in an Indian Child Welfare Act that has drawn nationwide attention.

The lower courts already confirmed that the law applies to a Choctaw Nation girl. But a non-Indian couple -- aided by Lori Alvino McGill, an attorney who has repeatedly challenged ICWA -- tried to prevent her from being placed with relatives in Utah.

The girl will stay in Utah -- where she will grow up with her two biological sisters -- now that California's highest court refused to disturb the arrangement. But McGill told the Associated Press that she will take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary.

McGill previously represented the National Council for Adoption and Building Arizona Families in a lawsuit that challenged the constitutionality of ICWA. The case was dismissed in December.

McGill also represented the non-Indian biological mother in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, a high-profile ICWA case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices, while they ruled against the biological Indian father, they did not question the constitutionality of ICWA.

Get the Story:
California high court won’t intervene in Choctaw girl’s move (AP 3/30)
California Supreme Court Denies Appeal in Lexi Case (Indian Country Today 3/30)
State Supreme Court Won’t Reconsider ‘Lexi’ Decision ( 3/30)

California Court of Appeal Decision:
In re Alexandria P., a Person Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law (August 15, 2014)

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