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 Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a huge swath of the state of Oklahoma is Native American land for certain purposes, siding with a Native American man who had challenged his rape conviction by state authorities in the territory.Â
The 5-4 decision, with an opinion authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, endorsed the claim of theÂ Muscogee (Creek) Nation to the land, which encompasses three million acres, including most of the city of Tulsa.
The decision means that only federal authorities, no longer state prosecutor, can lodge charges against Native Americans who commit serious alleged crimes on that land, which is home toÂ 1.8 million people. Of those people, 15% or fewer are Native Americans.
BREAKING: The Supreme Court ruled about half of Oklahoma is part of a Native American reservation, based on a historical claim from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
It is the first time much of eastern Oklahoma is legally considered "Indian country." pic.twitter.com/Q7JLri9SIp
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 9, 2020
BREAKING: Supreme Court rules that about half of Oklahoma is a Native American reservation, with Justice Gorsuch joining the four liberals in 5-4 ruling
— Lawrence Hurley (@lawrencehurley) July 9, 2020