Iowa Supreme Court Strikes Down Portion of Iowa ICWA

In In the Interest of A.W. the Iowa Supreme Court held that the Iowa ICWA‘s definition of “Indian child” violated the Equal Protection Clause. The definition included Indian children who were not eligible for membership in any tribe (“‘Indian child’ or ‘child’ means an unmarried Indian person who is under eighteen years of age or a child who is under eighteen years of age that an Indian tribe identifies as a child of the tribe’s community.“, Iowa Code 223B.3.6), or what the Court referred to as “ethnic Indians.” In doing so, the Court held that the trial court order allowing the intervention of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska was invalid.

A video of the oral argument before the Iowa Supreme Court can be viewed here.