SCOTUS Gives Big Win to Native Americans

The Supreme Court has been rather busy recently, making headlines in what seems like every week. This recent news, however, sounds pretty good to us.

Thursday, the Supreme Court decided that the eastern half of Oklahoma can and may be considered Native American territory. It was a slim win with a 5-4 vote, one in which the court’s four liberal judges joined Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch who wrote the decision. The state warned it may bring about “civil, criminal, and regulatory turmoil”.

In a warning back in May, Oklahoma’s state solicitor Mithun Mansinghani expressed his concern that the ruling in favor of the Native Americans could lead to the release of over 1,700 inmates. Associate Justice Samuel Alito expressed his dismay, stating: won’t residents be shocked to learn that they’re now subject to laws given by a body that is not responsible for them?

Maine, Texas, and Montana were among ten states last year that warned the boundaries of tribal lands have jurisdictional consequences. They stated a decision in the Native Americans’ favor would be “confusing at best” and “disastrous at worst”.

They explained that the health and energy policy, environmental regulation, and economic and development taxes would all be affected.

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