Tulsa Attorney BlogUnited States Supreme Court Declines Oklahoma’s Request to Overturn McGirt

Oklahoma Has Filed Appeals in Various Cases

Video Transcribed: United States Supreme Court declines Oklahoma’s request to overturn McGirt. I’m Oklahoma attorney, James Wirth and I’m going to update you regarding the McGirt decision. That’s that huge decision from the United States Supreme Court back in 2020, that found that the Muskogee Creek Nation was never disestablished.

attorney in OklahomaIt has since been applied to five other tribes as well. And there are other ones that are still being litigated. Well, the State of Oklahoma had filed an appeal in various cases, to try to overturn that decision, essentially asking the United States to Supreme Court to say, “We know you only decided this just in 2020, but we want you to decide it again in the opposite way and reverse yourself.” And the main case through which they were trying to do that is the case regarding Oklahoma v. Castro Horta.

And in that case, it was set for a conference with the United States Supreme Court to decide whether they’re going to accept it for petition of writ of certiorari, essentially deciding whether they’re going to accept the case for a decision or not.

And it was on that conference docket three times. Got passed two times, which is a little bit unusual. But on Friday, the 21st of January, 2022, they decided that they are going to accept it as one issue, but not another issue. And that’s kind of strange as well.

Normally, if they’re going to accept a case, they would just accept it. In this case, they decided they were going to accept it based on question one only. And they were very specific. They are not accepting it based on question two.

So what are those two questions? Well, the second question, the one they decided they are not going to accept the writ of certiorari on, that they’re not going to accept to decide, is whether McGirt v. Oklahoma should be overruled.

So the court has specifically said, “We are not going to re-decide, re-litigate, re-hear the main decision in McGirt. That is going to continue to be precedent and going to be the law of the land going forward.

However, they did decide that they would hear the question of whether a state has authority to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes against Indians in Indian country. So that is a decision that’s going to be heard by the United States Supreme Court.

It’s already been decided by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, based on a law that existed prior to McGirt, on how we treat jurisdiction in Indian country. All McGirt did is expand Indian country.

The other rules were already in place ahead of time. And the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has decided that the state does not have jurisdiction to prosecute non-Indians who commit crimes against Indians based on existing law.

However, that is going to be heard by the United States Supreme Court. But what is not going to be heard is a re-litigation of McGirt. McGirt is going to stand. The United States Supreme Court is saying, “We’re not going to re-litigate that issue.”

If you’ve got any questions about McGirt or criminal cases or any legal issue in Oklahoma, you’re going to want to talk to an attorney about that privately and confidentially to get that scheduled with somebody at my office, you can go online to makelaweasy.com.

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