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Native child welfare law faces major Supreme Court challenge

The Roberts Court, October 2022
Supreme Court of the United Stat/Fred Schilling, Collection of th
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Formal group photograph of the Supreme Court as it was been comprised on June 30, 2022 after Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson joined the Court. The Justices are posed in front of red velvet drapes and arranged by seniority, with five seated and four standing. Seated from left are Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Samuel A. Alito and Elena Kagan. Standing from left are Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson. Credit: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments Wednesday on the most significant challenge to a law that gives preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings of Native children. The outcome could undercut the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act. It was enacted in response to the alarming rate at which Native American and Alaska Native children were taken from their homes by public and private entities. Tribal leaders have long championed the law as a way to preserve Native families, traditions and cultures. Three white families, Texas and a small number of states claim the law is race-based and unconstitutional.