August 12, 2019

Udall Statement on 5th Circuit Upholding Indian Child Welfare Act

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.), vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, issued the following statement after the 5th Circuit court of appeals upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in its ruling in Brackeen v. Bernhardt and overturned a 2018 decision from the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Texas, which wrongly struck down key provisions of ICWA. 

In January, Udall filed a bipartisan, bicameral amicus brief in the 5th Circuit in support of the constitutionality of ICWA.

“I was proud to stand with my colleagues when we filed our amicus brief in defense of the Indian Child Welfare Act earlier this year, and I agree with the Fifth Circuit’s decision in the Brackeen v. Bernhardt case affirming the full constitutionality of the law,“ said Udall. “ICWA is built on the fundamental principles of federal Indian law that are themselves rooted in the Constitution and Supreme Court precedent. This decision respects those principles and ensures that the best interests of Native American children will continue to be protected.”