The late justice Robert H. Jackson famously wrote of his colleagues on the high court: “We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final.”
But sometimes the court is final only in the narrow question of law before it. That question decided, it sends the case back to lower courts, where sometimes the whole process starts anew.
Such is the fate of Veronica’s case. If anything, the Supreme Court’s decision has only heightened the stakes surrounding the rights of birth parents, the legal standing of adoptive parents and the sovereignty of Native American tribes.