The Chronicle of Social Change: Federal Law Protecting Indian Children and Families Will Stand

Today a federal circuit court reversed a lower court’s ruling by affirming the validity of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a law passed in 1978 to protect Native American families and children when nearly a third of Indian children were being removed from their parents and placed mostly with white families.

In its decision, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals stated that it found plaintiffs had standing on a number of points in the suit, now referred to as Brackeen v. Bernhardt. But what may be the most significant aspect of the Fifth Circuit’s ruling today is its denial of the claim that ICWA is a “race-based” law.

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