SCOTUS Cancels Part of Oklahoma, Decides It’s Still an Indian Reservation – By Bronson Stocking (Townhall) / July 9 2020
A large part of Oklahoma was just canceled. The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that millions of acres in eastern Oklahoma — including Tulsa, the state’s second-largest city — are still part of an American Indian reservation.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court agreed with a convicted rapist who argued that his 1997 rape conviction should be overturned because the state of Oklahoma lacked jurisdiction. Neil Gorsuch sided with the liberal wing, ruling that Congress failed to disestablish the 1866 boundaries of the reservation. The decision is a can of worms, raising far more questions than it answers regarding the status of other criminal convictions, the state’s ability to enforce regulations, and millions of U.S. citizens who now find themselves on tribal lands and possibly subject to the jurisdiction thereof.
“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,” Gorsuch wrote in a decision.
But in a dissenting opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts argued that Congress was clear about its efforts to disestablish the boundaries of the reservation.