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Tribes, State of Oklahoma continue to battle over McGirt ruling

Oklahoma State Capitol is seen. (KTUL){p}{/p}
Oklahoma State Capitol is seen. (KTUL)

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The state of Oklahoma and the tribes continue their battle over the McGirt ruling.

This time with a court filing.

In February, the state filed a brief to try non-natives who commit crimes against natives.

Stating in the brief that federal law does not preempt a state’s authority to prosecute non-Indians for crimes committed in Indian country.

As you can expect, the tribes are battling back with a brief of their own.

Filed on Monday, the tribes are asking the court to stick with a lower court’s ruling.

“Well, we have to file the brief because we have to protect Cherokee sovereignty. Let’s remember what McGirt was about from the beginning it’s about if the united states should keep its promise to Indian tribes through treaties and of course, the supreme court resoundingly said yes," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin.

The City of Tulsa submitted a brief supporting the state.

Along with the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police saying - McGirt has allowed perpetrators to walk away unscathed, leaving victims with little recourse for justice.

The tribes are challenging the narrative that crime is exploding in Oklahoma following the McGirt ruling.

Muscogee Nation District Judge Stacy Leeds saying, "Approximately 13,000 criminal cases have been filed by five tribes’ prosecutors (in the less than two years) since McGirt. Layered on top of that, all the federal prosecutions. That’s not 'confusion' or 'sky-is-falling', that's next level 'handling it.'"

Chief Hoskin says he’s open to working with the state.

“Whether it’s cross deputation whether it’s sharing traffic ticket revenue and making sure that process is streamlined we’re very much about cooperative agreements. I don’t think the conditions are right for any sort of discussions with the governor because he’s not interested in it," said Chief Hoskin.

The tribes are also asking that Congress handles McGirt disputes instead of the courts.

So far, the Supreme Court has sided with the tribes in the majority of its rulings.

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We reached out to the governor’s office for a statement or interview, and his press office referred us to the brief.


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