On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Brackeen v. Haaland, a case engineered to hobble the federal government’s power to protect Native communities from exploitation. The plaintiffs are asking the justices to invalidate the 44-year-old Indian Child Welfare Act, which prioritizes the placement of Native children in custody proceedings with Native families. But they’re also contesting a constitutional foundation of Indian law itself. Allying with Republican legal groups and lawmakers, the plaintiffs want to kneecap congressional authority to regulate tribes for the benefit of their own members.
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