The Indian Child Welfare Act strips basic constitutional rights from any child who is racially classified as “Indian.” ICWA was initially created to prevent seizure of Native American children from their intact families by state actors.
Even in cases where the Native American parent(s), relatives, or affiliated tribe have no issue with the adoption, the process is still delayed by arbitrary administrative rules.
Native American children are at greater risk of abuse, neglect, molestation, alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide than any other demographic in the nation.
The determination of Native American children’s rights due explicitly to their race certainly falls within the “exceptional importance” requirement for granting a rehearing en banc.
If the court maintains its original ruling, Indian children will suffer irreparable harm due to the substandard legal protections that undermine their constitutional rights.