Supreme Court Confirms Native American Land In Oklahoma

July 11, 2020

On July 9th the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that almost half of Oklahoma is confirmed Native American Territory.

This means that any Native American resident on those lands cannot be taken to state criminal court, they can only be tried by a federal one instead.

This all started when a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma was convicted by a state court of a rather heinous crime. The man, Jimmy McGirt said that Oklahoma state court couldn’t prosecute him because he is Native American and the crime took place on an Indian reservation.

He cited the Major Crimes Act which basically says that state courts have no jurisdiction over Native American Lands, only the federal authorities have that power.

State Justice officials argued that the land belonged to Oklahoma, but here was a treaty signed in 1866 saying that congress gave the land on which the crime was committed on to the Native Americans and was designated as a Reservation.

Source:
ABC News