Cherokees respond to Oklahoma request to overturn McGirt

Posted at 10:11 PM, October 29, 2021 and last updated 2:57 PM, July 24, 2023

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The Cherokee Nation on Friday responded to the state of Oklahoma’s request that the U.S. Supreme Court reverse its ruling that some tribal reservations were never disestablished.

The tribe argued that the state gives no valid reason to revisit what is known as the court’s McGirt decision, which said Oklahoma lacked jurisdiction over crimes committed on tribal reservations by or against tribal citizens.

FILE – Jimcy McGirt (Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections)

“The State’s and amici’s arguments are best presented to Congress, not to a court,” according to the filing.

Amici, or filings supporting the state’s request, have been filed by the cities of Tulsa and Owasso, state law enforcement and business groups and the states of Texas, Kansas, Louisiana and Nebraska.

The tribe also disputed contentions that crimes such as domestic violence have not been prosecuted because of McGirt.

“They did not consider the time needed for investigation or to make a prosecutorial decision,” according to the filing.

“The state’s refusal to accept McGirt is not a valid reason why the court should revisit the case,” said Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill.