Briefs and materials here.
Oral arguments are March 13.
Principal Briefs on the Tribal Defendant/Intervenor and Federal Side (Pro-ICWA)
Amicus Briefs, Pro-ICWA
Principal Briefs on the State and Individual Plaintiff side (Anti-ICWA)
Amicus Briefs (Anti-ICWA)
Reply Briefs by Tribal Intervenors and Federal Government
Multiple parties and amici filed strong briefs in the Brackeen v. Zinke case in the Fifth Circuit yesterday. Twenty-one state attorneys general filed an amicus brief in support of the law, as did 325 tribal nations and 57 tribal organizations. 30 child welfare organizations also signed on to the Casey Family Programs “gold standard” brief. Law professors from more than 20 law schools signed on to the three law professor amicus briefs.
Appellee states and individual plaintiffs will file theirs by February 6. Oral arguments are expected the week of March 11.
We applaud the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for staying a recent ruling in Texas that struck down the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). This stay decision protects children from potential abuse and forced separation from their families.
As a result, tribal families and their children in Texas and Indiana will continue to be protected from the types of abusive child welfare practices that Congress outlawed 40 years ago when it enacted ICWA.
By granting the stay, the protections provided by ICWA will remain in full force pending an appeal of the ruling handed down in October by a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas.
The Cherokee Nation, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, the Oneida Nation and the Quinault Indian Nation will continue to defend Native children and Native families by advocating for the constitutionality of ICWA by all available means. We strongly believe the ruling holding the Indian Child Welfare Act is unconstitutional was wrong, will ultimately be reversed on appeal, and as a result, the rights of Indian children, families and communities protected by the Indian Child Welfare Act will be affirmed and reinforced.
New Fifth Circuit page here.
Finally, the district court’s ruling will cause significant inconsistency throughout the country. As this Court noted in Bryant, when issuing a stay, “[t]he inevitable disruption that would arise from a lack of continuity and stability in this important area of the law” will harm the parties and “the public interest at large.” Id.
In Texas v. Zinke, the ICWA case in the northern district of Texas, the district court judge denied the four intervening defendant tribes’ motion to stay the decision. There has been no stay request filed in the Fifth Circuit nor a notice of appeal.
Navajo Nation filed a motion to intervene for the purpose of appeal.
Statement from Partnership for Native Children explaining the stay is here.