By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
The U.S. Supreme Court has rebuffed a bid to void a federal law that challengers claim is racist because it places the desires and rights of Native American tribes over the constitutionally protected best interests of children.
That, however, does not mean the justices believe the Indian Child Welfare Act is legal. Instead, they refused to disturb a lower court ruling, which said that this particular case was moot because the Arizona adoptions at issue had gone through.
Attorney Timothy Sandefur of the Goldwater Institute said his organizations remains convinced that the law is illegal because it makes race a consideration when state courts look at adoptions. But he told Capitol Media Services the refusal of the high court to use this case to decide that issue leaves the fight over the law for another day – and another case.
“Although the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found the matter to be moot as the children had already been adopted and the Supreme Court subsequently declined to hear the case, I am not too sure they would have even tackled the race claims alleged. Tribal nations are sovereign nations and the Indian Child Welfare Act preserves that sovereignty. Any decision curtailing the authority of the Indian Child Welfare Act would effectively be an intrusion on that sovereignty.”