Gov. Stitt says he wants to take a case to the Supreme Court to amend or overturn McGirt

Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 6:22 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt says the 2020 Supreme Court ruling in McGirt has wreaked havoc in Eastern Oklahoma- leaving the counties less safe, giving law enforcement jurisdiction problems, and stripping counties of budget money.

Stitt has been meeting with district attorneys and sheriffs in the area to talk about what they’ve experienced.

“I don’t believe any other state has ever gone through what Oklahoma is going through right now,” Stitt said. “I think this is the biggest issue that’s ever hit a state.”

Stitt said the consequences of McGirt could harm the state’s economy, since the increase in regulations could be hard on business, and so much court revenue is lost.

“My big fear for the sake of Oklahoma’s future is if it goes into taxation or it bleeds into regulation, then the state of Oklahoma doesn’t have any rights in eastern Oklahoma,” Stitt said.

He said the ruling has been harmful to victims of violent crimes.

“Going through a second trial, the victims have to go through that whole prosecution again,” Stitt said. “It’s just tragic what the victims are having to go through.”

The outcome isn’t much better for victims of property crimes.

“If it’s not a huge bodily crime, they’re not doing it,” Stitt said. “The U. S. Attorneys just don’t have the manpower to prosecute them. So car thefts, simple burglaries are just not being prosecuted right now.”

But Stitt said he believes there’s a path forward the same way it started, legally.

“We believe we can take a case back to the supreme court and either be overturned completely, or it can at least be limited to the major crimes act,” Stitt said. “And then we can figure out how to fix this.”

Stitt said to split Oklahomans up based on nationality doesn’t make sense.

“You’re either a native, or a non native, or do you need to be a quarter native, or a half or what’s the blood quorum,” Stitt said. “Or does it go on if you’re one five-thousandth, does that mean you have different protection under the law and you don’t pay taxes in Oklahoma? Or you have certain rights versus a non native?”

He said there should be one set of laws for Oklahomans.

“That’s where people just kinda start questioning, this doesn’t make sense,” Stitt said. “Because in America, we should all be treated fairly regardless of our race, geography or where we live.”

Stitt said he didn’t invite Lighthorse Police to talk about what impacts they’re seeing, but his attorney is negotiating with the tribes.

“All discussions pretty much go through the chiefs,” Stitt said.

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