SCOTUS Denies Additional McGirt Petitions

Monday, January 24th 2022, 6:11 pm

Three days after the US Supreme Court agreed to review the scope of its 2020 ruling on tribal jurisdiction, the court is denying additional petitions filed by Oklahoma.

In a filing list released on January 24, the Supreme Court denied 31 different cases the state had filed in hopes of overturning McGirt.

The ongoing legal battle is being interpreted differently by both sides of the issue.

In a statement to News on 6 on January 24, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation is calling the decision “great” news.

Principal Chief, David Hill said, "Today's Supreme Court action should end the State of Oklahoma's long, unfruitful campaign of litigation that has come at the cost of untold millions of taxpayer dollars and has diverted resources away from properly implementing the sovereignty ruling for the benefit of all who live and work in the Mvskoke Reservation.”

On January 21, the Court agreed to review the scope of the McGirt decision and whether the state can prosecute non-Native Americans on tribal lands.

However, the Court won't consider overturning the ruling.

"The Supreme Court said we already decided that, we're not reviewing that, that's a great victory," said Cherokee Nation Chief, Chuck Hoskin Jr.

Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor's office said Monday’s denials were not surprising based on Friday's decision.

The state filed dozens of different types of cases for the court to review and could file more.

Governor Kevin Stitt's office also said, he "remains pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court granted Oklahoma's request to potentially further limit the impacts of the McGirt decision, despite tribal insistence that 'there is no crisis of criminal justice.' The governor will continue to seek fairness and equal protection under the law for all 4 million Oklahomans and ensure all victims of crime receive justice regardless of their tribal heritage."

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the scope of the McGirt case in April of 2022.

A decision could come in the summer of 2022.