Baby, Baby — Supreme Court & Diminishing Diversity Rights for Native Americans


In its second 5-4 decision of the day, the Supreme Court ruled against cultural diversity.

A lower court had ruled against  two heartbroken adoptive South Carolina parents, who were ordered to return their adopted girl to her biological father, a Native American, despite the “loving family environment” they provided.  Overturning the reasoning behind the decision, the Roberts Court’s majority decided that the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act does not automatically give the biological father the right to take the child back.  The couple from South Carolina can go back to the lower court to determine custody now on the basis of the “best interests of the child” doctrine.  (Alito wrote the opinion with Roberts, Kennedy, Thomas and Breyer, though the latter two wrote concurring opinions.)

Who said the Supreme Court believed in diversity, anyway?  Yesterday’s affirmative action decision already showed that.

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About Ruth O'Brien

Professor Ruth O'Brien, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY) & Honorary Unaffiliated Academic Book Series Editor for The Public Square, Princeton University Press & Heretical Thought, Oxford University Press, USA Last book: Out of Many, One: Obama & the Third American Political Tradition (U of Chicago 2013). Nickname: Professorette by Rush Limbaugh (see

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