The Supreme Court will now weigh in on a custody battle that ranges from Oklahoma to South Carolina.
Three-year-old Veronica Brown is the little girl at the center of the case headed to the nation’s highest court.
Tuesday oral arguments began in an adoption fight between a South Carolina couple who raised Veronica for more than two years and her biological father, a member of the Cherokee nation.
In 2011a South Carolina court awarded Veronica’s father, who lives in Bartlesville, custody due to his Native American heritage.
An attorney representing the Cherokee nation said the court’s ruling is not just about Veronica’s future but it will affect every American Indian tribe in the country.
“Tribes have had to deal with a lot in the history of the United States,” Cherokee nation attorney, Chrissi Ross Nimmo, said. “They lost land, they lost resources and this is the last straw and tribes really see this as people are taking our children.”
More than a dozen states and 23 current and former members of congress have filed briefs supporting the Indian Child Welfare Act.
So far, no word on when the Supreme Court will announce their decision.