On Thursday, the Supreme Court decided Haaland v. Brackeen. This 7-2 decision upheld provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) that governed adoptions of children with some connection to an Indian tribe. The opinion, in total, stretched 133 pages. (Obergefell, by contrast, was only 103 pages!) Justice Barrett’s majority opinion was 34 pages. Justice Gorsuch’s concurrence, which was joined in part by Justices Kagan and Jackson, was 38 pages long. Justice Kavanaugh wrote a brief solo concurrence. Justice Thomas wrote a 40-page solo dissent. And Justice Alito dropped a pithy ten-pager.
I will have much more to say about this case in a series of post. For now, you can download the edited version of the case for the Barnett/Blackman 2023 supplement. I’ve distilled the case down to about 30 pages. If you want to assign this case in class, to be frank, I would simply assign the Gorsuch and Thomas opinions. The majority opinion breaks little ground, and goes out of its way to not decide questions.
More to come soon–and I still have to write about Polansky, Qui Tam, and Justice Souter!