Posted by Michelle Miano.
On November 9, 2022, BKSW was honored to host the University of New Mexico School of Law Tribal Law Journal for a listening session of the Brackeen v. Haaland oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court. Students, professors, attorneys and paralegals listened for over three hours as the justices inquired about the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901-63 (“ICWA”), the power of Congress to enact such legislation, the effect of equal protection when addressing Indian Tribes, and whether ICWA improperly imposes requirements on the states. After oral argument, the group discussed their impressions of the arguments and the effectiveness of the advocates’ responses to questions from the Supreme Court Justices.
In support of ICWA, Michelle Miano of BKSW was counsel of record for amicus curiae Stanford Law School Professor Gregory Ablavsky before the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as in the panel and en banc proceedings before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Professor Ablavsky illuminated the history of the early federal government’s relationship with Indian Tribes and described how the revisionist argument for state authority lacks evidence. A copy of Professor Ablavsky’s brief before the U.S. Supreme Court is available here. Prior to the listening session, Michelle provided an overview of the case and applicable laws as a guest lecturer with students working on the Tribal Law Journal. BKSW will be watching closely to see what the U.S. Supreme Court justices decide.