In spite of the happy talk coming from Oklahoma's sitting politicians, tribal leaders and talking heads, the U. S. Supreme Court's decision in McGirt vs. Oklahoma must be considered our state's Brown vs. Board of Education, in that it stands to change everything.
The court's finding of potentially five geographic tribal criminal jurisdictions results in a legal and law enforcement muddle which continually questions what is a crime and who is a criminal.
The U. S. Supreme Court has now effectively partitioned our state between an eastern federal tribal territory and the remaining western state portion.
The western portion — land stripped from the tribes after the Civil War as punishment for their Confederate rebel alliances — will remain state jurisdiction.
Which begs too many questions to count: Will the western portion be solely responsible for joint state institutions? Will eastern tribal members be obliged to pay state taxes of any kind?
As usual, the Supreme Court's decision has handed citizens another unfunded federal mandate that takes no account of the costs of its decree or on those people most affected.
This has to be an appeal to Oklahoma's Congressional delegation to obtain federal funding for the endlessly mandated sovereignty changes ahead or to get an authorization for a Sequoia Statehood convention.
When the president of the National Congress of American Indians spoke of putting the Oklahoma in its place, I wonder if she realized the Supreme Court was raring to do just that.
Steven L. Perry, Oklahoma City
Editor's Note: The National Congress of American Indians President Fawn Sharp said during her State of Indian Nations address in February in Washington, D.C., “When the tribal nations succeed in putting the state of Oklahoma in its place, we will be standing right there with them."
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