Federal legislation unlikely this year over US Supreme Court ruling


Prospects have dimmed for federal legislation this year to clarify Oklahoma’s criminal and civil jurisdiction in the wake of a momentous U.S. Supreme Court decision that could soon mean nearly half the state is Indian reservation land.

The Tulsa World reported U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., the senior member of the state’s congressional delegation, said last week that it would be “very difficult” to get a bill passed this year addressing the myriad issues — including taxation and regulation — raised by the court’s ruling that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation was never terminated.

Inhofe said many interested parties were “anxious to get something done” but that there was no agreement on a way forward among the major tribes that are expected to have their reservations restored because of the July 9 decision.

A coalition of Indian organizations, including the National Congress of American Indians, sent a letter to Inhofe late last week warning against a rush toward “destructive legislation.”

Source: Tulsa World