McGirt v. Oklahoma

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A task force appointed by Gov. Kevin Stitt made no specific recommendations Thursday in its report concerning the impact of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared a swath of eastern Oklahoma counties remains an Indian reservation.

The report calls for consistent laws and regulations in the state governing taxation, zoning and business regulations, which Stitt said will be up to Congress to provide.

Facebook / Governor Kevin Stitt

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved a request from Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s administration to allow the state, not tribal nations, to regulate environmental issues in Indian Country, even those lands that may be inside historical tribal reservation boundaries.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — U.S. Attorney Bill Barr promised more manpower and federal aid to Oklahoma on Wednesday to help tribal governments and federal prosecutors deal with an increase in criminal cases stemming from a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.

During a visit to the Cherokee Nation headquarters, Barr said the U.S. Department of Justice plans to fund two federal prosecutor positions in the northern and eastern U.S. districts of Oklahoma to handle the increased caseloads.

Shane T. McCoy / U.S. Marshals

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — U.S. Attorney General William Barr is planning a visit to Oklahoma on Wednesday with leaders of the Cherokee Nation and federal prosecutors from Tulsa and Muskogee.

Barr is expected to lead a roundtable discussion at the tribe’s headquarters in Tahlequah with Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., the tribe’s Attorney General Sara Hill, and U.S. attorneys from the northern and eastern districts of Oklahoma.

Among the topics Barr is expected to discuss is funding for staff increases, according to a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation convicted of murder in state court and another convicted of sexually assaulting a child in cases at the center of a major U.S. Supreme Court ruling on tribal sovereignty are now facing felony charges in federal court, U.S. Attorney Brian Kuester announced on Monday.

A federal grand jury in Muskogee returned criminal indictments against Jimcy McGirt, 71, for three counts of aggravated sexual abuse, and Patrick Dwayne Murphy, 51, for murder and kidnapping.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The man whose case led to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Muscogee (Creek) Nation land — and much of eastern Oklahoma — remains an Indian reservation now faces a federal trial.

Creek citizen Jimcy McGirt was convicted in state court in 1996 of raping a 4-year-old girl on tribal lands, but that conviction was vacated after the Supreme Court ruling in his favor.

McGirt, 71, was transferred from the James Crabtree Correctional Center to the Muskogee County Jail earlier this week and has been charged in federal court to prevent his release.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

At a Tuesday press conference at the U.S. Attorney's Office in downtown Tulsa, federal, state, municipal and tribal officials said they are all effectively working together to ensure public safety is not negatively impacted as jurisdictional questions are resolved following the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma.

File photo

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter filed a brief on Monday asking the state Court of Criminal Appeals for guidance on cases affected by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McGirt v Oklahoma.

The Board of Tulsa County Commissioners on Monday approved an agreement between the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Police and the Tulsa County Sheriff for law enforcement in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma.

Sheriff Vic Regalado said his deputies will be authorized to enforce laws on Muscogee (Creek) Nation land.

Joe Ravi / CC-BY-SA 3.0

The Muscogee (Creek), Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole nations and the State of Oklahoma released an agreement on Thursday to help the state’s congressional delegation write legislation that would settle jurisdictional questions in the wake of last week’s McGirt decision.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler and United States Attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma Trent Shores both cited the recent Supreme Court ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma in announcing action in two separate cases, some of the first legal maneuvers navigating what Shores' office calls their "new responsibilities."

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Native American man convicted in Oklahoma of first-degree murder and another who pleaded guilty to manslaughter had their convictions vacated because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that much of the eastern part of the state remains a reservation on which tribal members are subject to federal and tribal law, not state law.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation

In a stunning 5-4 vote, the United States Supreme Court on Thursday sided with Oklahoma tribes in McGirt v. Oklahoma, saying much of the eastern half of Oklahoma is still an Indian reservation.

supremecourt.gov

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a large chunk of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation, a decision that state and federal officials have warned could throw Oklahoma into chaos.

The court’s 5-4 decision, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, means that Oklahoma prosecutors lack the authority to pursue criminal cases against American Indian defendants in parts of Oklahoma that include most of Tulsa, the second-largest city.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Neil Gorsuch appeared Monday to be a pivotal vote for the proposition that a large chunk of eastern Oklahoma remains an American Indian reservation, a question the Supreme Court failed to resolve a year ago.

The justices heard arguments by phone in an appeal by a Native American man who claims state courts have no authority to try him for a crime committed on reservation land that belongs to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

SupremeCourt.gov

The United States Supreme Court on Monday heard oral arguments via phone in the matter of McGirt v. Oklahoma, a case with major ramifications for eastern Oklahoma.

Jimcy McGirt, a member of the Seminole Nation, was convicted of rape and other crimes in an Oklahoma court in 1997. In 2018, McGirt filed a motion arguing that state court was the wrong venue for his trial, as the crime was committed within the boundaries of Muscogee (Creek) Nation, which he claims is still a federally designated reservation and has never been ceded to the state of Oklahoma.

US Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments today in a case that has enormous implications for Oklahoma.

McGirt v. Oklahoma is the second case before the justices within the span of about 18 months that seeks to resolve whether eastern Oklahoma is still legally an Indian reservation and under the jurisdiction of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole nations,  a status that could upend decades of state criminal convictions of tribal citizens.