McGirt vs Oklahoma

McGirt vs. Oklahoma Supreme Court Decision

The Nations and the State are committed to ensuring that Jimcy McGirt, Patrick Murphy, and all other offenders face justice for the crimes for which they are accused. We have a shared commitment to maintaining public safety and long-term economic prosperity for the Nations and Oklahoma.

The Nations and the State are committed to shared jurisdiction that will preserve sovereign interests and rights to self-government while affirming jurisdictional understandings, procedures, laws, and regulations that support public safety, our economy, and private property rights. We will continue our work, confident that we can accomplish more together than any of us could alone.


The Supreme Court’s ruling in McGirt is specifically about the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and clearly establishes that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s treaty territory is a reservation. The decision also strengthens the Choctaw Nation’s position that it has and has always had a reservation.

No, the decision from the Court will not result in any prisoner’s automatic release. Any challenged conviction will be evaluated on its own merits and there are many other laws that could prevent a state prisoner from being retried. Any person whose conviction may be affected by today’s ruling will either remain in prison or face re-prosecution and re-incarceration by federal or tribal authorities.

Yes. Federal, tribal, state, and local officials already have many agreements in place to ensure that emergency response will continue to be handled the same way and that those committing criminal acts—whether they are tribal members or not—can be arrested by law enforcement to maintain law and order. Police protection and emergency response will continue to be provided for all.

No person within the Choctaw Nation, whether they are a tribal member or not, is above the law. Generally, tribal members who commit crimes will be subject to federal or tribal prosecution, and non-tribal members will remain subject to state prosecution.

No, the decision has no effect whatsoever on anyone’s ownership of property, and all existing contracts, leases, and title to property remain as they were before this decision. State law remains applicable for the most part especially with respect to persons who are not members of the Choctaw Nation (or another tribe) and on lands not owned by the tribe or tribal members.

No, Oklahoma’s boundaries are not changed by any aspect of today’s ruling. The Muscogee (Creek) treaty territory remains part of Oklahoma, as does the treaty territory of every tribe in Oklahoma. Everyone living within the boundaries of those treaty territories, Indian and non-Indian, remains a citizen of Oklahoma and their rights and responsibilities as Oklahoma citizens, including voting, schooling, and many other rights guaranteed by state law, remain the same.

No. All existing agreements between the Nation and the State regarding issues such as hunting and fishing will remain in effect.

No. This has nothing to do with the gaming compact. It stems from appeals from Creek citizens who were convicted of crimes in state court and should have been tried in federal court. This litigation arose before the gaming compact dispute and will have no impact on it.


July 29, 2020: Chief Gary Batton discusses the McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling and the impact it will have on tribal members and the Choctaw Nation.

July 14, 2020: The Choctaw people have been governing our land base and exercising sovereignty since the 1830s. The McGirt decision supports tribal sovereignty. The decision was a refreshing commitment to the actual law, upholding treaty obligations and rights, which have an unfortunate history of being ignored by both the federal government and the State of Oklahoma.