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Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
12-399 S.C. Apr 16, 2013
Tr.Aud.
Jun 25, 2013 5-4 Alito OT 2012

Holding: Assuming for the sake of argument that the biological father in this case is a "parent" for purposes of the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Act still does not bar termination of the biological father's paternal rights.

Judgment: Reversed and remanded, 5-4, in an opinion by Justice Alito on June 25, 2013. Justice Breyer and Justice Thomas filed concurring opinions. Justice Scalia filed a dissenting opinion. Justice Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion in which Justice Ginsburg and Justice Kagan joined, and in which Justice Scalia joined in part.

SCOTUSblog Coverage

DateProceedings and Orders
Oct 1 2012Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due October 31, 2012)
Oct 1 2012Motion for leave to file Appendix B under seal filed by petitioners.
Oct 22 2012Brief of respondent Guardian ad Litem, as representative of respondent Baby Girl filed.
Oct 26 2012Order extending time to file response to petition to and including November 30, 2012.
Oct 31 2012Brief amicus curiae of American Academy of Adoption Attorneys filed.
Oct 31 2012Brief amicus curiae of Birth Mother filed.
Oct 31 2012Brief amicus curiae of National Council for Adoption filed.
Oct 31 2012Motion for leave to file amici brief filed by Professors Joan Heifetz Hollinger, et al.
Oct 31 2012Brief amici curiae of California State Association of Counties, et al. filed.
Nov 30 2012Brief of respondents Birth Father and Cherokee Nation in opposition filed.
Dec 11 2012Reply of petitioners Adoptive Couple filed.
Dec 12 2012DISTRIBUTED for Conference of January 4, 2013.
Jan 4 2013Motion for leave to file Appendix B under seal GRANTED.
Jan 4 2013Motion for leave to file amici brief filed by Professors Joan Heifetz Hollinger, et al. GRANTED.
Jan 4 2013Petition GRANTED.
Feb 11 2013SET FOR ARGUMENT ON Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Feb 11 2013Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of either party or of neither party, received from counsel for the petitioners
Feb 11 2013Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of either party or of neither party, received from counsel for respondent Guardian Ad Litem of Baby Girl
Feb 19 2013Brief of petitioner Adoptive Couple filed.
Feb 19 2013Motion for leave to file Joint Appendix under seal filed by petitioner Adoptive Couple.
Feb 19 2013Consent to the filing of amicus curiae briefs, in support of either party or of neither party, received from counsel for respondents Birth Father and Cherokee Nation.
Feb 19 2013Brief of respondent Guardian ad Litem, as representative of respondent Baby Girl, supporting reversal filed.
Feb 26 2013Brief amici curiae of Professors Joan Heifetz Hollinger, et al. filed.
Feb 26 2013Brief amicus curiae of American Academy of Adoption Attorneys filed.
Feb 26 2013Brief amicus curiae of Birth Mother filed.
Feb 26 2013Brief amicus curiae of Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare filed.
Feb 26 2013Brief amicus curiae of National Council for Adoption filed.
Feb 26 2013Brief amici curiae of Child Advocacy Organizations filed.
Feb 26 2013Brief amici curiae of Bonnie and Shannon Hofer, et al. filed.
Feb 26 2013CIRCULATED.
Feb 26 2013Brief amicus curiae of Adoptive Parents Committee, Inc. filed. (Distributed)
Feb 26 2013Brief amicus curiae of Citizens Equal Rights Foundation filed. (Distributed)
Feb 27 2013Motion DISTRIBUTED for Conference of March 15, 2013.
Mar 15 2013The motion of petitioners for leave to file the joint appendix under seal is denied without prejudice to filing a renewed motion together with either a redacted joint appendix, or an explanation as to why the joint appendix may not be redacted, within 14 days.
Mar 15 2013Brief amicus curiae of the United States filed. (Distributed)
Mar 18 2013Motion for divided argument filed by petitioners Adoptive Couple and respondent Guardian ad Litem as Representative of Respondent baby Girl.
Mar 19 2013Record from Supreme Court of South Carolina is electronic.
Mar 21 2013Motion of Birth Mother for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument filed.
Mar 21 2013Motion of the Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument filed.
Mar 21 2013Renewed motion of petitioners for leave to file the joint appendix under seal with redacted copies for the public record.
Mar 21 2013Brief of respondent Birth Father filed. (Distributed)
Mar 21 2013Motion for divided argument filed by respondent Cherokee Nation.
Mar 21 2013Brief of respondent Cherokee Nation filed. (Distributed)
Mar 22 2013Brief amici curiae of Professors of Indian Law filed. (Distributed)
Mar 26 2013Brief amicus curiae of Hamline University School of Law Child Advocacy Clinic filed. (Distributed)
Mar 26 2013Brief amicus curiae of Honorable Abby Abinanti, Chief Justice of the Yurok Tribal Court filed.
Mar 26 2013Brief amicus curiae of Navajo Nation filed. (Distributed)
Mar 27 2013Brief amici curiae of Seminole Tribe of Florida, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Mar 27 2013Brief amici curiae of Lower Sioux Indian Community, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Mar 27 2013Brief amicus curiae of National Latina/o Psychological Association, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amici curiae of Friends Committee on National Legislation, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amicus curiae of Current and Former Members of Congress filed.
Mar 28 2013Brief amici curiae of Casey Family Programs, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amici curiae of Association of American Indian Affairs, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amicus curiae of The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amici curiae of Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amici curiae of Family Law professors filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amici curiae of Tanana Chiefs Conference, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amici curiae of Arizona, et al. filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amicus curiae of Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Association filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amici curiae of Minnesota Department of Human Services and Minnesota Ombudsperson for American Indian Families filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amici curiae of Wisconsin Tribes filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amici curiae of 63 California Indian Tribes filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amicus curiae of National Native American Bar Association filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amici curiae of Adult Pre-ICWA Indian Adoptees filed. (Distributed)
Mar 28 2013Brief amici curiae of American Civil Liberties Union, and ACLU of South Carolina filed. (Distributed)
Apr 1 2013Renewed motion of petitioners for leave to file the joint appendix under seal with redacted copies for the public record GRANTED.
Apr 1 2013Upon consideration of the motions for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and the motions for divided argument, the time is to be divided as follows: 20 minutes for petitioners, 10 minutes for respondent Guardian ad Litem, 20 minutes for respondent Birth Father, and 10 minutes for the Solicitor General.
Apr 9 2013Reply of petitioner Adoptive Couple filed. (Distributed)
Apr 9 2013Reply of respondent Guardian ad Litem, as representative of respondent Baby Girl, supporting reversal filed. (Distributed)
Apr 16 2013Argued. For petitioner: Lisa S. Blatt, Washington, D. C. For respondent Guardian ad Litem in support of petitioner: Paul D. Clement, Washington, D. C. For respondents Birth Father, et al.: Charles A. Rothfeld, Washington, D. C., and Edwin S. Kneedler, Deputy Solicitor General, Department of Justice, Washington, D. C. (for United States, as amicus curiae.)
Jun 25 2013Judgment REVERSED and case REMANDED. Alito, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Roberts, C. J., and Kennedy, Thomas, and Breyer, JJ., joined. Thomas, J., and Breyer, J., filed concurring opinions. Scalia, J., filed a dissenting opinion. Sotomayor, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Ginsburg and Kagan, JJ., joined, and in which Scalia, J., joined in part.
Jun 26 2013Application (13A7) for issuance of the mandate forthwith, submitted to Justice Alito.
Jun 27 2013Response to application from respondents Birth Father and Cherokee Nation filed.
Jun 28 2013UPON CONSIDERATION of the application of counsel for the applicants and the response filed thereto, IT IS ORDERED that the mandate shall issue to the Supreme Court of South Carolina seven days after the entry of this order.
Jul 5 2013MANDATE ISSUED.
 
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