Motions to Dismiss State Prosecutions under McGirt

A flurry of motions has come in. Here is the motion to dismiss a criminal complaint on the Cherokee reservation in State of Oklahoma v. Nichols (Tulsa County Dist. Ct.):

Nichols Brief

Here is the motion to dismiss in a case involving a Creek reservation crime where the defendant marked “I” on the racial identity box, State of Oklahoma v. Williams (Tulsa County Dist. Ct.):

Williams Brief

And here is the motion to dismiss in State of Oklahoma v. Shaffer (Tulsa County Dist. Ct.), where the defendant was unenrolled at the time of the crime and is now seeking enrollment at Cherokee:

Shaffer Brief

Cert Petition in Oklahoma Gaming Machines Tax Case

Here is the petition in Rogers County Board of Tax Roll Corrections v. Video Gaming Technologies, Inc.:

20200514142407520_Petition for Writ of Certiorari

20200514142428474_Appendix for Petition for Writ of Certiorari

Question presented:

Whether a generally applicable state ad valorem tax, as assessed against personal property owned by a non-Indian, out-of-state corporate entity and leased to a tribe for use in its casino operations, is preempted by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and the Court’s “particularized inquiry” balancing test, see White Mountain Apache Tribe v. Bracker, 448 U.S. 136 (1980), where the tax does not infringe on any federal regulatory purpose contained in the IGRA, the tax does not interfere with any tribal sovereignty interests, and the tax supports relevant and important government interests, such as law enforcement, schools and health services.

Lower court decision here.

UPDATE:

Tulsa County Assessor Amicus Brief

Cert Opp Brief

New Book: “The Cherokee Supreme Court 1823–1835”

From Carolina Academic Press, here (h/t Legal History Blog):

The Cherokee Supreme Court

1823–1835

by J. Matthew Martin

Forthcoming April 2020 • paper

ISBN 978-1-5310-1841-2
e-ISBN 978-1-5310-1842-9

Tags: Indian and Indigenous Peoples LawLegal HistoryRegional Interest


The first legal history of the first tribal court upends long-held misconceptions about the origins of Westernized tribal jurisprudence. This book demonstrates how the Cherokee people—prior to their removal on the Trail of Tears—used their judicial system as an external exemplar of American legal values, while simultaneously deploying it as a bulwark for tribal culture and tradition in the face of massive societal pressure and change. Extensive case studies document the Cherokee Nation’s exercise of both criminal and civil jurisdiction over American citizens, the roles of women and language in the Supreme Court, and how the courts were used to regulate the slave trade among the Cherokees. Although long-known for its historical value, the legal significance of the Cherokee Supreme Court has not been explored until now