fbpx
 

TULSA — A federal judge issued a final judgment in favor of a group of Oklahoma tribes that have been locked in an ongoing battle with Gov. Kevin Stitt over tribal gaming compacts.    

Calling the terms of the compacts “unambiguous,” Chief U.S. District Timothy D. DeGiusti on Wednesday certified his July ruling that gaming compacts between several Oklahoma tribes automatically renewed for an additional 15-year term on Jan. 1, 2020.

The ruling was a win for eight Oklahoma tribes that have claimed all along that the compacts automatically renewed. Three tribes initially filed the suit on Dec. 31, 2019, and were later joined by other Oklahoma tribes in the legal tussle.     

The eight tribes involved in the lawsuit are the Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, Choctaw Nation, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Quapaw Nation, Delaware Nation and Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.    

The final judgment is another loss this year for Stitt, who has fought with the state’s tribes and his own Republican colleagues in the state legislature over gaming issues. 

In July, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court ruled that Stitt exceeded his legal authority when he signed gaming compacts with two other tribes — Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribe — that included provisions for sports betting. Those gaming compacts were ruled invalid by the court. 

Oklahoma’s GOP Speaker of the House Charles McCall and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, also a Republican, criticized Stitt for his actions and lauded the ruling. 

“From the start, this was about separation of powers, and the Supreme Court affirmed as much with a decisive ruling,” McCall said in a statement following the ruling. “Oklahoma and its tribal nations can move forward from this together as partners, as we have done for decades with great success.”

 

“When one branch of government acts outside of its authority, the other branches must take steps to restore the balance of power,” Treat said at the time.

More Stories Like This

Cortez Masto, Gallego Introduce BADGES Act to Strengthen Tribal Law Enforcement 
University of Kansas Says It Has Native American Remains in Museum Collection
AAIA Aiming to ReACTivate Ancestral Connections at 8th Annual Repatriation Conference
A Road Map Home: Reclaiming Buried Relatives from Carlisle Indian School
Preservation of Peyote Habitat Top Priority by Native American Church on Capitol Hill

Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news? 

For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected]