Dear tribal leaders and tribal counsel,
Today the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a motion that extends the filing deadline for amicus briefs in Brackeen v. Zinke by two days. This is one last call for Tribes who are interested in signing on to the tribal amicus brief in this case.
As you know, Brackeen v. Zinke is a challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in which a federal district court judge in Texas recently found ICWA to be unconstitutional. The case is currently on appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and our co-counsel at Dentons have draft a tribal amicus brief to complement the arguments being made by the Tribal Defendants and our allies, including law professors, child welfare organizations, and several states. All federally recognized Tribes are invited to sign on to the brief in a show of unity. Of course, there is no cost to join this brief—any federally recognized Tribe may do so free of charge.
If your Tribe would like to sign its name to the brief, please let NARF know by tomorrow, Tuesday, January 15 at 11:00pm Alaska Time (7pm ET/8pmCT/9pmMT/10pmPT). Already more than 280 Tribes and more than 50 Indian organizations have signed on to the brief.
If your Tribe would like to sign on, we will need an email that provides the following:
- A statement from an individual (chairperson, executive director, general counsel, etc.) or body (tribal council, etc.) authorized to do so, asking to be added as a signatory on the brief. A statement via email is fine; and
- The full name and correct spelling of the Tribe as it should appear on the brief.
Thank you again for your commitment to defending ICWA.
Erin Dougherty Lynch
Senior Staff Attorney
Native American Rights Fund