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Cherokee Nation files brief, responds to attempts on overturning McGirt ruling

Chuck Hoskin Jr.
Posted at 11:56 AM, Oct 29, 2021

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in regards to recent efforts to reverse last year’s McGirt decision.

The brief outlines why the Cherokee Nation thinks the court should deny the petition. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr., writes:

“Governor Stitt could have spent the months since the McGirt decision working with tribes and local partners to keep Oklahomans safe. Instead, he has not only refused to accept the Supreme Court’s ruling but has prioritized overturning the decision over solutions that would actually protect public safety. Our brief today demonstrates that the governor’s attacks on tribal sovereignty are inconsistent with the law and factually baseless. We hope the court will see through this blatantly political effort, reject the state’s petition, and put an end to the dangerous uncertainty and instability created by the state’s refusal to work with tribes.”

The Cherokee Nation’s brief also states the state's amicus brief is filled with errors in support of the state and relies on incorrect information and unsupported anecdotes.

READ MORE: McGirt report shows impact of decision on federal, tribal agencies

The Cherokee Nation claims since the study only looks at cases filed before state courts applied McGirt to the Cherokee reservation its conclusions are incorrect and its submission to the Supreme Court misleading.

Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill states:

“The state’s refusal to accept McGirt is not a valid reason why the court should revisit the case, and its legal arguments go against settled law and precedent. It is telling that the amici briefs filed in support of Governor Stitt rely on easily disproven claims and contradict the facts on the ground. While the governor continues to mislead Oklahomans, the Cherokee Nation continues to work with our partners to meet our responsibilities and expand our justice system.”

The Cherokee Nation added they enhanced their justice system with funding, new hires, and other measures to ensure they can prosecute cases and provide support to victims.

The full Cherokee Nation brief can be read here.

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