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Supreme Court: Nearly Half Of Oklahoma Is Indian Reservation

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While all eyes were on the Supreme Court’s Thursday decision granting New York prosecutors access to President Trump’s taxesa ruling earlier in the day recognized roughly half of Oklahoma as an Indian reservation - in a move which could have wide-ranging legal implications for the 1.8 million people who now live in “Indian Country,” according to the New York Times.

 

Յովհաննէս Թաշճեան

@UnspeakablChaos

 

I guess these are the new borders of Oklahoma.

11:43 AM · Jul 9, 2020

 

 

 

The decision, authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, holds the United States to an 1866 treaty that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation signed with the United States after the Civil War over land which was home to the “Five Civilized Tribes”; the Creek, Cherokee Nation, the Seminole, the Chickasaw Nation, and the Choctaw Nation, according to The New Republic.

Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law,” wrote Gorsuch, a Trump appointee. “Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word.”

Joining Gorsuch in the majority were Justices Sonya Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, while Justices Alito, Kavanaugh, Roberts and Clarence Thomas argued in the minority – siding with the state of Oklahoma.

“A century of practice confirms that the Five Tribes’ prior domains were extinguished,” wrote Roberts. “The State has maintained unquestioned jurisdiction for more than 100 years. Tribe members make up less than 10%–15% of the population of their former domain, and until a few years ago the Creek Nation itself acknowledged that it no longer possessed the reservation the Court discovers today.”

Roberts added that “The State’s ability to prosecute serious crimes will be hobbled and decades of past convictions could well be thrown out,” and that “The decision today creates significant uncertainty for the State’s continuing authority over any area that touches Indian affairs, ranging from zoning and taxation to family and environmental law.”

The original case (via the New York Times):

Muscogee tribal leaders cheered the ruling, vowing to work with state and federal law-enforcement authorities to ensure public safety within the reservation, according to the Times.

“This is a historic day,” said Principal Chief David Hill. “This is amazing. It’s never too late to make things right.”



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    • Reaper

      Good, now maybe the decadents of enslaved Africans can receive their 40 acres and a mule with interest….

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