Federal Appeals Court Won't Rehear Osage Tribe's Case

Wednesday, May 26th 2010, 1:47 pm
By: News On 6

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A federal appeals court has denied a request for a rehearing in a lawsuit brought by the Osage Nation in an attempt to exempt its members who live and work in Osage County from state income taxes.

In a three-sentence ruling issued Tuesday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the tribe's request.

In March, a three-judge panel from the appeals court affirmed a lower-court ruling in the tribe's lawsuit against the Oklahoma Tax Commission. The tribe claims Congress never affirmatively disestablished its reservation in northeast Oklahoma and therefore taxing its members violates federal law.

On the tribe's website, Osage Nation Chief Jim Gray says an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is a possibility.

Osage Nation Chief Jim Gray said he was "shocked" at the court's denial.

"Am I shocked? Yes," Jim Gray said. "Am I disappointed? You bet. But, am I conceding? No, I'm not."

Oklahoma Tax Commission spokeswoman Paula Ross says the agency is confident the court's decision will stand.

2/25/2009 Related story: Federal Judge Rules Against Osage Nation