Emotions run high at the U.S. Supreme Court - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Emotions run high at the U.S. Supreme Court in the Fight for Baby Veronica

Posted: Updated:
Day two at SCOTUS to hear the case for baby Veronica. Day two at SCOTUS to hear the case for baby Veronica.
Dusten Brown, Veronica's biological father, and his wife walk in SCOTUS. Dusten Brown, Veronica's biological father, and his wife walk in SCOTUS.
Washington, D.C. -

The Indian Child Welfare Act was written to keep the American government from removing Native American children from a tribe and placing them in foster homes.  The idea is that it helps to preserve a struggling culture.

Emotions ran high at the United States Supreme Court Tuesday where a local family fought for custody of their adopted daughter.

It's the story News 2 has been following since New Year's Eve 2011 when the biological father left Charleston with the little girl we call baby Veronica.  News 2's Haley Hernandez is on Capitol Hill covering the story.

It's a fact that if it wasn't for ICWA Dusten Brown would not have had the legal rights to take his biological daughter Veronica back to Oklahoma to live with him.  Tuesday justices challenged both sides on whether he used the law correctly when he used it to "preserve" a Native American family where one did not previously exist.

Inside of the Supreme Court justices challenged the use of the law.  One point the justices said was deeply disturbing was that by the argument in this case, the ICWA could apply to cases where the mother didn't know the father which would happen in an instance with a sperm donor or rape.

Attorney Lisa Blatt agreed the risk is that a tribe can have ICWA on their side even if Native American parents withdraw membership or are unknown. But Terry Cross of the National Indian Child Welfare Association defends the act by saying they have never been against adoptions.

U.S. Supreme Court to hear Veronica case in less than 24 hours

Cherokee Nation release new pictures of "Baby Veronica"

Attorney: South Carolina judiciary "confused" with Baby Veronica case

We are told this law is the center of thousands of custody battles every year and that's why attorneys say the Supreme Court needs to clarify or rewrite the ICWA.  The way it legally defines a parent conflicts with how state laws say a father is either a parent through marriage or present during pregnancy. In Veronica's case Brown did not so that and that's why the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys say South Carolina was wrong to allow him to take Veronica after she was born and raised into the Charleston home.

The Cherokee nation claims this is modern discrimination against the tribe. Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. they held a prayers service at the Supreme Court.

The Attorney General of Cherokee nation says the Indian country has seen many defeats on these steps but also many victories but prays for "victory" of baby Veronica.

  • Moncks Corner man gets 30 years in shooting death

    Moncks Corner man gets 30 years in shooting death

    Moncks Corner man gets 30 years in shooting death

    Friday, July 25 2014 7:06 AM EDT2014-07-25 11:06:00 GMT
    MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) - A Moncks Corner man has been convicted of killing his son and wounding his son's fiancee during a fight two years ago. A Berkeley County jury returned the guilty verdict on charges of murder and attempted murder against 62-year-old Johnny Irby on Thursday. Irby was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Prosecutors say Irby killed 35-year-old Telly Irby and wounded 32-year-old Michelle Wiggins in August 2012. Witnesses said Telly Irby had hit his father in the head during...
    MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) - A Moncks Corner man has been convicted of killing his son and wounding his son's fiancee during a fight two years ago. A Berkeley County jury returned the guilty verdict on charges of murder and attempted murder against 62-year-old Johnny Irby on Thursday. Irby was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Prosecutors say Irby killed 35-year-old Telly Irby and wounded 32-year-old Michelle Wiggins in August 2012. Witnesses said Telly Irby had hit his father in the head during...
  • General Motors expects to pay $400-$600 million dollars in victim compensation

    General Motors expects to pay $400-$600 million dollars in victim compensation

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:52 AM EDT2014-07-25 07:52:04 GMT
    General Motors expects to pay between $400 and $600 million dollars to compensate victims of a faulty ignition switch that led to at least 13 deaths.Families of those injured or killed can start filing for payments next month.The automakers has admitted its employees knew of the defective ignition switches ten years before recalling 2.6 million cars this year.General Motors could face criminal charges.The company has set aside an additional $874 million for the cost of repairing the record 30...
    General Motors expects to pay between $400 and $600 million dollars to compensate victims of a faulty ignition switch that led to at least 13 deaths.Families of those injured or killed can start filing for payments next month.The automakers has admitted its employees knew of the defective ignition switches ten years before recalling 2.6 million cars this year.General Motors could face criminal charges.The company has set aside an additional $874 million for the cost of repairing the record 30...
  • Citizens academy: behind scenes at FBI

    Citizens academy: behind scenes at FBI

    Friday, July 25 2014 12:43 AM EDT2014-07-25 04:43:40 GMT
    For the first time ever in Charleston, FBI agents are giving citizens here a peak into what they do to prevent terrorism. In a 7-week “FBI Citizen’s Academy”, community leaders will get a behind the scenes look at how the FBI operates here. FBI agents say they get intelligence from citizens, and that’s a good reason to hold an academy… to connect with the people in the community. FBI agents say South Carolina, not unlike other states, is vulnerable to terrorism because of the large militar...
    For the first time ever in Charleston, FBI agents are giving citizens here a peak into what they do to prevent terrorism. In a 7-week “FBI Citizen’s Academy”, community leaders will get a behind the scenes look at how the FBI operates here. FBI agents say they get intelligence from citizens, and that’s a good reason to hold an academy… to connect with the people in the community. FBI agents say South Carolina, not unlike other states, is vulnerable to terrorism because of the large militar...
Powered by WorldNow

210 W. Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Telephone: 843.216.4875
Fax: 843.881.3410
Email: news@wcbd.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.