Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 7-10-13 featuring Tom Gede

July 10, 2013

Thomas F. Gede

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Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl - Post-Decision SCOTUScast - MP3
Running Time: 00:10:53

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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Related Links

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl - Post-Argument SCOTUScast
Opinion - June 25, 2013 (PDF)
Oral Argument Transcript - April 16, 2013 (PDF)