Feds Say Indian Child Welfare Law Must Stand

Law360 (January 17, 2019, 8:41 PM EST) -- The federal government told the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday that a lower court wrongly declared the Indian Child Welfare Act unconstitutional, saying that the ruling went against longstanding precedent and that several of the law’s provisions could have been severed without striking down the entire law.

The government is seeking to overturn a Texas federal judge’s October ruling that ICWA, which sets federal standards for state child custody cases involving Indian children, is race-based and unconstitutionally gives tribes too much power over states to decide how to implement it in adoption and custody cases.

In a brief made available late Wednesday,...

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