Closing date is 12/14
Here are the materials so far in Pilant v. Caesars Entertainment Services Inc. (S.D. Cal.):
This matter is before the Court on a motion by specially appearing Defendants Caesars Enterprise Services, LLC (“CES”) and Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (“CEI”) to dismiss the complaint for failure to join an indispensable party and for lack of personal jurisdiction. The motion has been fully briefed, and the Courtdeems it suitable for submission without oral argument. As discussed below, the motion to dismiss for failure to join an indispensable party is denied and the motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction is granted in part and denied in part.
ICWA was thereafter applied to the case, but the damage was done — the children were placed in foster care without the normal protections the law would have offered them. Now, the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska are challenging the decision in the Washington State Supreme Court. If the court’s decision is upheld, advocates say the case could significantly weaken the use of ICWA in Washington by raising the bar for what qualifies as a “reason to know” that a child is “Indian” in the eyes of the law.
Kathryn Fort, director of Michigan State’s Indian Law Clinic, who is arguing on behalf of the tribes in the case involving Greer and Graham, says that it shouldn’t be so difficult. The burden of checking in with a tribe is low, she says, but the outcome has immense implications for the family, children and tribe.
Briefing and oral arguments here.
This is the appeal of the court of appeals opinion posted here.
Oral arguments here
- Answer to Petition for Review
- Petition for Review
- Amicus – Margaret Jacobs in Support of Petition for Review
- Amicus – American Indian Law Professors, Et Al in Support of Petition for Review
- Amicus – Children’s Tribes in Support of Petition for Review
- Respondents Answer to Amicus
- Petitioner’s Supplemental Brief
- Respondents Supplemental Brief
- Amicus – Youth and Children, Et Al
- Supplemental Amicus Children’s Tribes
- Amicus – American Indian Law Professors, Center for Indian Law & Policy, et al
- Respondents Answer to Amicus Brief
The MSU ICWA Appellate Project co-represented the Tribes in this case, along with the Center for Indigenous Research and Justice.
Every summer, the Native American Bar Association – DC organizes events and programs for summer interns working in the field of Indian law and policy. As many internships have been cancelled or have gone virtual, NABA-DC is also making its summer programs VIRTUAL. The NABA-DC programs include the Brownbag Program and Mentorship Program. Through each program, interns will be able to virtually meet and engage with attorneys and policy staff currently working in DC on issues impacting Indian Country.
If you are interested in participating please sign-up here: https://forms.gle/aR8s2TZgRM3bQeZdA
Brownbag Program: The NABA-DC Brownbag Program is for interns working in the field of Indian law and policy. This summer, NABA-DC will host virtual Brownbag events with host offices such as government agencies, law firms, and non-profit organizations. You will get a chance to directly engage with attorneys and policy advisors currently working in DC on issues impacting Indian Country. You will learn about their own personal career paths and the issues they work on each day. If you have any questions about the NABA-DC Brownbag program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mentorship Program: NABA-DC coordinates a mentorship program each summer to give interns working or interested in Indian law and policy a personal networking experience. Interns are matched with professionals working in Washington D.C., with efforts made to find mentors who are working in the same fields the interns wish to enter, enriching the interns’ educational experience in D.C. and connecting practitioners with the next generation of Native leaders. If you have any questions about the NABA-DC mentorship program, please contact email@example.com.
Here are the briefs in Mitchell v. Bailey:
Lower court materials in Mitchell v. Bailey (W.D. Tex.):
Register for Webinar Here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_w27L-_5sTbGiMBXQeo9WYg
All briefs are here.
Intervening Tribes Press Release (released before the Tribal brief with over 400 tribal signatories):
Majority of U.S. States, 75 Members of Congress and more than 30 Organizations File Amicus Briefs in Support of Native American Families and Children
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, 26 states and the District of Columbia, 75 members of Congress and more than 30 organizations filed friend-of-the-court briefs before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in Brackeen v. Bernhardt. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr., Morongo Band of Mission Indians Chairman Robert Martin, Oneida Nation Chairman Tehassi Hill and Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp issued the following statement regarding the amicus briefs:
“We are thrilled to see that more than half of all states across the country, 75 members of Congress and dozens of leading organizations are taking a stand for the best interests of Indian children and families. This continuous support from across the political spectrum is a testament to the critical role that ICWA plays in promoting the stability and security of Indian tribes and families. Together, we are fighting back against the meritless attacks on ICWA. We are confident that the Fifth Circuit will again stand on the side of families and children by upholding the law.”
The Cherokee Nation, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, Oneida Nation and Quinault Nation are co-defendants in the case, defending the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) against unwarranted attacks on the law’s constitutionality.
For more than 40 years, ICWA has provided a process for determining the best interests of Indian children in the adoption and foster care systems. The tribes are arguing to defend ICWA alongside the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Interior. The case will be reheard on January 22, 2020.
The amicus briefs filed by the following States – Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin – as well as the District of Columbia, can be found here.
Amici include organizations and political leaders from across the country spanning the political spectrum, and the U.S. states are represented by attorneys general from both the Republican and Democratic parties. They also include law professors and Native women writing in support of ICWA.
In 2017, individual plaintiffs Chad and Jennifer Brackeen, a couple from Texas, along with the state attorneys general in Texas, Louisiana, and Indiana, sued the U.S. Department of the Interior and its now-former Secretary Ryan Zinke to challenge ICWA. The Morongo, Quinault, Oneida and Cherokee tribes intervened as defendants in the case, and their recent brief can be found here.
On August 9, 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed that the Indian Child Welfare Act is constitutional and serves the best interests of children and families. On October 1, 2019, plaintiffs in Brackeen v. Bernhardt chose to continue their attacks on Indian children and tribal families and requested an en banc rehearing before the Fifth Circuit, which the court granted.
There is broad, bipartisan support against this misguided attack on a law that is crucial for protecting the well-being of Indian children and Indian sovereignty. In addition to states and members of Congress, the Trump administration has strongly defended ICWA and its protections for Indian children, explaining that ICWA is an appropriate exercise of Congress’s authority to legislate in the field of Indian affairs and does not violate the Tenth Amendment or equal protection laws.
For additional information on this case and the Indian Child Welfare Act please visit: www.ProtectIndianKids.com
In the 40 years since Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act, the law has been criticized in legal challenges that have climbed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But the ICWA, as the act is known, has always prevailed.
Now its constitutionality is being questioned again. On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit agreed to rehear a lawsuit filed by a non-Native American couple in Texas claiming the ICWA discriminates on the basis of race and infringes on states’ rights.
Kathryn Fort, a Michigan State law professor and one of the nation’s foremost ICWA experts, told The Washington Post she thinks there are more important battles to wage on behalf of children.
“Given that a federal judge this week fined Texas $50,000 a day until they fix their broken child welfare system,” Fort said, “it seems beyond the pale for them to try to continue to strike down a law that is designed to help children and families in that very system heal and reunify.”