Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Muscogee Nations could own half of Oklahoma

Half the state of Oklahoma may revert back to the 1866 Treaty Muscogee Creek boundaries due to a congressional oversight. The Supreme Court of the United States last week announced they would hear the case this fall in Royal vs. Murphy. Justice Neil Gorsuch is recused from the case, because he participated in earlier proceedings in the case while he was still a judge on the 10th Circuit.

As the SCOTUS blog states, the issue arises in the case of Patrick Murphy, a member of the Creek Nation who was convicted and sentenced to death in Oklahoma state court for the murder of another member of the same nation. After his sentence was upheld on appeal, Murphy returned to the state courts seeking post-conviction relief: He argued that the federal government, rather than Oklahoma, has authority to prosecute him because both he and his victim were Indians and the crime occurred in Indian country. That argument was unsuccessful in the state courts, but when Murphy went to federal court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit agreed, reasoning that Congress had never disestablished—that is, terminated—the boundaries of the Creek Nation.


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