Appeals court to hear Native American child welfare case

Appeals court to hear Native American child welfare case

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A federal law that gives preference to Native American families in foster care and adoption proceedings involving Native American children is facing the most significant legal challenge since it was enacted more than 40 years ago.

A federal judge in Texas ruled the Indian Child Welfare Act is unconstitutional, saying it is racially motivated and violates the equal protection clause. More than 20 states have joined hundreds of tribes, advocacy groups and the federal agency that oversees Indian affairs in urging an appellate judge to uphold the law.

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