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Family Law

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl - Post-Argument SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 5-13-13 featuring Tom Gede
Thomas F. Gede May 13, 2013

Thomas F. GedeOn April 16, 2013, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl.  The case involves the Indian Child Welfare Act (IWCA) of 1978, and considers the following: 1) whether a biological father who initially renounced custodial rights over his daughter can invoke the ICWA to block her adoption by a non-Indian couple; and 2) whether the ICWA’s definition of “parent” includes an unwed biological father who has not followed state rules for obtaining legal status as a parent. 

To discuss the case we have Tom Gede, a commissioner on the Indian Law and Order Commission and Of Counsel with Bingham McCutchen LLP.

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Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 7-10-13 featuring Tom Gede
Thomas F. Gede July 10, 2013

Thomas F. GedeOn June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. The case involved the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978, and considers the following: 1) whether a biological father who initially renounced custodial rights over his daughter can invoke the ICWA to block her adoption by a non-Indian couple; and 2) whether the ICWA’s definition of “parent” includes an unwed biological father who has not followed state rules for obtaining legal status as a parent.

In an opinion delivered by Justice Alito, the Court held by a vote of 5-4 that, if the biological father is assumed to be a parent for ICWA purposes, the Act does not bar termination of the father’s parental rights. Chief Justice Roberts, as well as Justices Kennedy, Thomas and Breyer joined the majority opinion. Justice Thomas and Justice Breyer filed concurring opinions. Justice Scalia filed a dissenting opinion. Justice Sotomayor also filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justices Ginsburg and Kagan, and by Justice Scalia in part.

To discuss the case we have Tom Gede, a commissioner on the Indian Law and Order Commission and Of Counsel with Bingham McCutchen LLP. 

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American Family Law and Sharia-Compliant Marriages

Engage Volume 13, Issue 2, July 2012
Karen J. Lugo June 19, 2012

American Family Law and Sharia-Compliant MarriagesThe purpose of this American family law survey of cases that have addressed Sharia law-based customs is to explore the nature of potential conflict between the Islamic Sharia socio-religious practices and American family law traditions. This article considers the challenges and potential results of evaluating Muslim family law practices in American family law courts... [Read more!]

Anti-discrimination and Individual Liberties: Elane Photography v. Willock - Podcast

Civil Rights and Religious Liberties Practice Groups Podcast
Ilya Shapiro, Christian Corrigan September 11, 2013

Anti-discrimination and Individual Liberties: Elane Photography v. Willock - PodcastOn August 22, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in Elane Photography v. Willock that the First Amendment doesn't protect a photographer's right to decline to take pictures of a same-sex wedding ceremony against the requirements of the state's Human Rights Act, which forbids discriminating against people on the basis of sexual orientation. The case perfectly illustrates the tension between the ideals of non-discrimination and individual freedom. Join us as our expert discusses both sides of the issue.

Featuring:

  • Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute
  • Moderator: Christian Corrigan, Director of Publications, The Federalist Society

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Arkansas Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Adoption by Unmarried Cohabitating Couples

State Court Docket Watch Fall 2011
Jordan E. Pratt November 16, 2011

In a unanimous opinion handed down on April 7, 2011, the Arkansas Supreme Court invalidated—on state constitutional right-to-privacy grounds—a ban on adoption and foster parenting by unmarried adults who cohabitate with sexual partners. Although the law applied to both heterosexual and homosexual couples, the decision has captured public attention largely because of its implications for the latter group. This article briefly describes the law, the suit leveled against it, and the Arkansas Supreme Court’s decision in Arkansas Dep’t of Human Services v. Cole.