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Politics: Supreme Court to revisit part of Native American land decision in Oklahoma

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The Supreme Court said a huge swath of Oklahoma is Native American land for certain purposes, siding with a Creek Nation man who challenged his rape conviction by state authorities. The decision means that only federal authorities, no longer state prosecutors, can lodge charges against Native Americans who commit serious alleged crimes on that land , which is home to 1.8 million people. Of those people, 15% or fewer are Native Americans . "Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian reservation for purposes of federal criminal law," Gorsuch

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that much of eastern Oklahoma falls within an Indian reservation, a decision that could reshape the criminal justice system by preventing state authorities from prosecuting offenses there that involve Native Americans . The 5-to-4 decision , potentially one of The decision puts in doubt hundreds of state convictions of Native Americans and could change the handling of prosecutions across a vast swath of the state. Lawyers were also examining whether it had broader implications for taxing, zoning and other government functions. But many of the specific

The Supreme Court said on Friday that it would revisit part of a decision it made in 2020 on a case, which focused on Oklahoma's ability to prosecute on Native American-recognized land.

Supreme Court to revisit part of Native American land decision in Oklahoma © Associated Press/Jacquelyn Martin Supreme Court to revisit part of Native American land decision in Oklahoma

The original decision, McGirt v. Oklahoma, sided with tribal leaders finding that a large part of land in the eastern part of the state qualified as Indian reservation, according to The Washington Post.

In the 5-4 decision, Justice Neil Gorsuch sided with the more liberal justices for the majority.

The justices will revisit a more narrow part of their decision, about whether non-Native Americans who commit crimes against the native community in areas of Oklahoma that are considered Native American land can be prosecuted by the state, The Associated Press reported.

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The US Supreme Court has ruled about half of Oklahoma belongs to Native Americans , in a landmark case that also quashed a child rape conviction. The justices decided 5-4 that an eastern chunk of the state, including its second-biggest city, Tulsa, should be recognised as part of a What does the ruling mean? Thursday’s decision in McGirt v Oklahoma is seen as one of the most far-reaching cases for Native Americans before the highest US court in decades. The ruling means some tribe members found guilty in state courts for offences committed on the land at issue can now

McGirt v. Oklahoma , 591 U.S. ___ (2020), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case which ruled that, as pertaining to the Major Crimes Act

The AP noted that since Native American-recognized land was expanded during that 2020 case to include most of Tulsa, it meant that criminal prosecution against Native Americans in those areas also could not be conducted by the state.

The state had urged the Supreme Court to have the 2020 McGirt v. Oklahoma decision overturned, but that request was denied by the justices, the Post noted.

Instead, part of that decision, issued one year ago, will be revisited by the high court in April.

Oklahoma officials, including Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) applauded the Supreme Court's decision on Friday.

"The fallout of the McGirt decision has been destructive. Criminals have used this decision to commit crimes without punishment. Victims of crime, especially Native victims, have suffered by being forced to relive their worst nightmare in a second trial or having justice elude them completely," Stitt said in a statement.

The Republican governor said the 2020 decision "has hamstrung law enforcement in half of the state."

"Now that Governor Stitt's fight against tribal sovereignty has once again come up short, we hope he will consider joining tribes, rather than undermining our efforts, so we can focus on what is best for our tribal nations and all Oklahomans," Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said, according to the Post.

Biden reaffirms pledge to nominate Black woman to Supreme Court .
President Biden on Thursday said he would nominate a Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court to replace the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, following through on a key campaign pledge.Biden announced Breyer's retirement during an event with the jurist at the White House, with the president saying he planned to pick a nominee before the end of February."I've made no decision except one: The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character experience and integrity," Biden said. "And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It's long overdue in my view.

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