Organizations and Law Professors Comment on Proposed ICWA Regulations

Here is a selection of a few of the major groups in support of the proposed ICWA regulations (as available from Regulations.gov or sent directly to us at fort [at] law [dot] msu [dot] edu):

American Bar Association
Association on American Indian Affairs
ACLU
California Indian Legal Services
Casey Family Programs, with additional signatories including NNABA and TLPI
Children’s Defense Fund
The Donaldson Adoption Institute
ICWA Law Center
Michigan Tribal-State Judicial Forum
Michigan Indian Legal Services
NABA-Arizona
National Indian Child Welfare Association
National American Indian Court Judges Association
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
NCAI
NARF AK
Letter from:
Advocates for Children and Youth
Children’s Defense Fund
Children and Family Futures
Child Welfare League of America
Foster Family-Based Treatment Association
Generations United
National Children’s Alliance
National Crittenton Foundation
National Foster Parent Association
Nebraska Appleseed
Nebraska Families Collaborative
New Mexico Child Advocacy Networks
North American Council on Adoptable Children

Law Professors Comment. Signed by 21 clinicians, professors, and deans representing more than 15 law schools.

Times have certainly changed since the original Guidelines were issued. Administrative law and the power of the federal government have shifted considerably in the past forty years. In addition, there was no way the federal government could foresee the dramatically different applications of ICWA across the fifty states. These new regulations are necessary because without them the application of the law is arbitrary, with Indian children treated differently depending on which state’s courtroom they are in. Having disparate interpretations of ICWA was certainly not the intent of Congress in passing a federal law, and conflicts with the rationale of the Supreme Court’s decision in Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians v. Holyfield, 490 U.S. 30, 45-46 (1989) (describing the need for uniformity in defining ‘‘domicile’’ under ICWA). These regulations will provide a stronger measure of consistency in the implementation of ICWA and prevent the application of different minimum standards across the United States, contrary to Congress’ intent.

One of our second year law students at MSU Law, Whitney Gravelle, was a huge help in researching issues related to administrative authority and getting a first draft going.

 

Fletcher on Becoming an American Indian Law Professor

I just posted on SSRN a short paper I prepared for the National Native Law Students Association annual meeting career panel last month at the Pojoaque Pueblo: “On Becoming an American Indian Law Professor.” Here is the abstract:

There are only a few dozen American Indians who are enrolled tribal members who are tenure system law professors in American law schools. In fact, in our quick review of the American Association of Law Schools roster of teachers who list themselves as Native American Law instructors, we found fewer than 30 tribal members who are currently tenure system law professors. We study this group, as well as a few known tribal members who have either retired or left the academy for loftier pursuits, for purposes of identifying the profiles of tribally enrolled American Indians on the tenure track in American law schools. The object of this short paper is to advise American Indian law students and others on how to become an American Indian law professor.

I wrote this before all the Elizabeth Warren stuff came out. There’s more to say about that, I suppose, but that’s for another time.