“ICWA doesn’t prevent an individualized assessment of the best placement for each child,” says Kathryn Fort, director of the Indian Law Clinic at Michigan State University. State courts do this type of assessment “every day,” she says, adding, “I personally don’t know a state court judge who would be comfortable being told that they weren’t allowed to do an individualized assessment.”
But for an Indian child, Fort says, that individualized assessment includes consideration of the child’s relationship with her relatives, her language, her religion, and her tribal tradition.
“A child isn’t separate from her tribe,” she adds. “That child is sacred to that tribe.”
WaPo (check out Fred Urbina’s picture!)
Oral arguments in the case are tomorrow (11/9) at 10am. Live audio can be streamed here.