Oklahoma cities, others join in effort to overturn McGirt

Posted at 7:18 AM, October 25, 2021 and last updated 8:10 PM, July 17, 2023

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The cities of Tulsa and Owasso, state law enforcement and business groups and the states of Texas, Kansas, Louisiana and Nebraska have filed briefs supporting Oklahoma’s request that the U.S. Supreme Court overturn its ruling that some tribal reservations were never disestablished.

The briefs briefs filed Thursday allege crimes such as domestic violence have not been prosecuted because of what is known as the McGirt decision.

FILE – Jimcy McGirt (Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections)

Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson in Tulsa and Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. dispute the claims.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma has reviewed almost 3,000 cases since the McGirt … decision,” Johnson said in a statement to the Tulsa World. “My office has opened over 900 of those cases — 450 of which have been indicted thus far.”

Hoskin said the tribes have expanded and coordinated with law enforcement.

Stitt has called the McGirt decision the biggest issue facing the state and praised the filings.

“Each of these briefs factually demonstrates the chaos created by McGirt as well as the dire consequences for all Oklahomans if the ruling is not overturned,” Stitt said.

The McGirt decision found that Oklahoma has no jurisdiction over crimes committed by or against Native Americans on tribal reservations.