TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., June 20, 2023 — The U.S. Supreme Court issued their opinion last week on the Haaland, Secretary of Interior, et al. v. Brackeen case. The dispute arose from a child-custody case under the Indian Child Welfare Act. The federal law applies to child-custody proceedings involving tribal children and prioritizes placing them with members of their extended family or in tribal homes. The petitioning party claimed the law was unconstitutional. The Court did not resolve the question on the constitutionality, but it did decide that there was a lack of standing to review this case.  The standing decision was made with a majority support vote 7 to 2. State Rep. Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City) issued the following statement on the ruling:

“The Supreme Court’s decision is an important victory for the sovereign nation of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians within House District 103 and all tribal communities. This decision affirms our democracy, and upholds the authenticity and culture of the tribes across the country. These child placements are critical to keep Native children connected with their tribes and traditions. I commend the Court’s decision and its ruling in line with our constitution and their judicial responsibilities.”