According to the Supreme Court of the United States, the MCN reservation is “Indian Country”
WASHINGTON–After nearly three years the Supreme Court of the United States has delivered their opinion on the reservation jurisdiction question posed in the McGirt and Murphy cases.
The opinion delivered by Justice Gorsuch with a 5-4 vote, on tribal jurisdiction was the first to be delivered in an extended session of SCOTUS on July 7.
The opinion said, ‘Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law.’
‘Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word.’
‘For purposes of the Major Crimes Act, land reserved for the Creek Nation since the 19th century remains Indian Country,’ the opinion states.
Gorsuch was joined in the opinon by Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan. Justice Roberts filed a dissenting opinion and was joined by Alito and Kavanaugh. Also dissenting was Thomas who filed his own dissenting opinion.
The court also released a brief unsigned decision in the Sharp v. Murphy case, which was held over since last term. That decision affirmed the 10th Circuit ruling.
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation said, ‘The Supreme Court today kept the United States’ sacred promise to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of a protected reservation.’
‘Today’s decision will allow the Nation to honor our ancestors by maintaining our established sovereignty and territorial boundaries,’ the statement said. ‘We will continue to work with federal and state law enforcement agencies to ensure that public safety will be maintained throughout the territorial boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.’
A joint statement was issued from the United States Attorneys for the Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Oklahoma on McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court Ruling.
‘As Oklahoma’s United States Attorneys, we are confident tribal, state, local, and federal law enforcement will work together to continue providing exceptional public safety under this new ruling by the United States Supreme Court,’ the statement said.
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the nation’s largest organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal nations along with Native American Rights Fund (NARF), applaud the decision in the U.S. Supreme Court case, which confirmed that the treaty-defined boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation still remain in full force today.
NCAI President Fawn Sharp said, ‘Through two terms of the United States Supreme Court and as many cases and fact patterns, this question has loomed over federal Indian law.’
‘This morning, NCAI joins the rest of Indian Country in congratulating the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and proudly asserting that its lands remain, and will forever be considered, Indian Country-as guaranteed in their treaty relationship with the United States.’
Mvskoke Media is reaching out to state and federal leaders for comment and will update with responses as they become available.