Articles Tagged with “supreme court”

marriageequality.jpg On June 26th, 2015, the United States Supreme Court issued an historic ruling that invalidated state bans on same-sex marriage and held that same-sex marriage is a Fourteenth Amendment right. The decision results in the United States becoming the twenty-first country in the world to nationally legalize same-sex marriage. What does this landmark decision mean for Indiana, where same-sex marriage has been legal since the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the state’s same-sex marriage ban in the fall of 2014?

The Indianapolis Star recently published an article that answers the above question. The article notes that although same-sex marriage is already legal in Indiana, the Court’s ruling will impact our state through the nationwide recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states. Previously, marriages granted in states such as Indiana, where same-sex marriage was legal before the ruling, were not recognized by states that banned same-sex marriage. The article cites the following quote by Indiana University Maurer School of Law Professor, Steve Sanders, to illustrate this concept:

“If you’re married in one state, you’re married everywhere. That rule has long applied to virtually all heterosexual marriages. What this ruling means is same-sex couples cannot be excluded from the protection of that rule.”

baby veronica.jpgA divided Supreme Court decided in favor of a child’s adoptive parents over the claim of her birth father this week. At issue was the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law that gives tribes and relatives a say in decisions affecting children with Native American heritage. Passed in 1978 because of the high number of Indian children being removed from their homes by public and private agencies, the act gives the tribe and relatives a say in decisions affecting the child. We first reported about this story here.

Matt and Melanie Capobianco adopted the girl, but Dusten Brown, the father – a member of the Cherokee Nation whom she had never met – argued that the child’s mother gave her up without his consent. The state’s highest court sided with him, and she was returned to her biological father. The father challenged the Capobiancos’ adoption, he said federal law favored the girl living with him and growing up learning tribal traditions Appealing to the state Supreme Court, the Capobiancos said they had bonded with Veronica and argued that removing her was detrimental to her development. But justices sided with Brown last summer, saying in an emotional opinion that, while the Capobiancos were “ideal parents,” federal law requires that custodial preference be given to the child’s Native American parent.

The Supreme Court overturned the court’s previous decisions. Associate Justice Samuel Alito ruled for the majority that the law’s ban on breaking up Native American families cannot apply if the family didn’t exist in the first place. He said the father had not supported the mother during pregnancy, agreed to give up parental rights in a text message, and changed his mind much later.

Contact Information