The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that much of Oklahoma belonged to Native American tribes in a huge victory for a reservation that challenged the state’s authority to prosecute crimes on its territory.
In Decision 5-4, the majority ruled that the disputed area covering approximately half of the state and most of the city of Tulsa belonged to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
“Today, we are asked if the lands promised by these treaties remain an Indian reserve for the purposes of federal criminal law,” he added. Neil gorsuchNeil Gorsuch Your Political Survival Guide for Holiday Dinner 2021 To uphold the rule of law, US Supreme Court must act in Texas death penalty case No, Congress shouldn’t codify the “Chevron deference” PLUS, a person named by Trump, wrote for the majority. “Because Congress did not say otherwise, we are keeping the government at its word.”
The move could upend the state’s authority over much of the land and prevent it from prosecuting tribal members accused of crimes on the reservation. Oklahoma may no longer be able to tax those who reside on the creek lands.
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“Today’s ruling creates significant uncertainty for the state’s continued authority over anything affecting Indian affairs, from zoning and taxation to family and environmental law,” Roberts wrote in his dissent. . “None of this is justified.”
The Creek Tribe released a statement Thursday welcoming the decision.
“The Supreme Court today fulfilled the sacred promise of the United States to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of a protected reserve,” the statement said. “Today’s decision will allow the nation to honor our ancestors by maintaining our established sovereignty and territorial boundaries. We will continue to work with federal and state law enforcement agencies to ensure that public safety is maintained. maintained within all the territorial limits of the Muscogee Nation (Creek).
The case concerns Jimcy McGirt, a convicted rapist serving a thousand years plus a life sentence, who has challenged his conviction on the grounds that the crime took place in Creek Territory.
McGirt could now face a new trial in federal court.
Oklahoma, which was backed in the case by the Trump administration, argued that the disputed territory with the Creek had never been a reserve, and even though it had been, it had been dissolved there a long time ago.
But Gorsuch wrote for the majority that it takes an act of Congress to dissolve a reserve and there is no evidence that he did so with the Creek lands.
âGathering the broad social consensus required to pass new legislation is a deliberately difficult task under our Constitution. In the face of this daunting task, Congress might at times wish that an inconvenient reservation simply disappeared,â Gorsuch wrote. “But wishes don’t make laws, and sparing political branches the embarrassment of removing a reservation is not part of our constitutionally assigned prerogatives.”
Oklahoma said in a joint statement Thursday with the Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole nations that they would submit a proposal to Congress to resolve open questions over jurisdiction.
âThe Nations and the State are committed to ensuring that Jimcy McGirt, Patrick murphyPatrick Erin Murphy Former Cambodian Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh dies at 77 United States condemns imprisonment of teenagers in Cambodia for social media posts What happened to Marco Rubio, the “Republican Savior” of Time magazine in 2013? FOLLOWING, and all other offenders are brought to justice for the crimes for which they are accused, âthey said. âWe have a shared commitment to maintaining public safety and long-term economic prosperity for the Nations and Oklahoma.
“Nations and state are committed to implementing a framework of shared jurisdiction that will preserve sovereign interests and self-government rights while affirming the jurisdictional arrangements, procedures, laws and regulations that support the public safety, our economy and private property rights, “they continued.” We will continue our work, confident that we can accomplish more together than any of us could do alone.
Updated at 12:55