To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Observercast

The Curious Case Of McGirt v. Oklahoma

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From this case, beware, you could get hurt.

Not by McGirt. No, not by him.

But maybe from other men. 

It’s just a Supreme Court decision

But some say without any future vision

Indeed McGirt himself is a very bad dude,

One you never want around your little brood

Because it’s sad to say, he is a child molester

And given the chance he’ll again do more than just pester 

So there you have it, the law at work in mysterious ways

Which means for coppers nothing ahead but very long days

And don’t blame me for this, at least not very much

Rather a man in a black robe named Gorsuch

Because on this ruling, and many more, he was the fifth of five

Who had to decide … who lives and who will die.

And with the close of that sad poem I’m trying to simplify a United States Supreme Court ruling of 2020 that is having a profound and long-term impact on our state.

As of this writing it appears the major consequence of McGirt may be limited to a category of especially egregious crimes committed on Indian reservations in Eastern Oklahoma, notably made up of the so-called Five Civilized Tribes. They are the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole Nations.

However, there are now civil cases being filed with the Oklahoma Tax Commission by tribal residents who live on the reservations claiming they do not have to pay Oklahoma income, corporate or use taxes. Some also speak about imposing severance taxes on oil and gas production in the affected counties over and above that currently levied by the Legislature.

If that proves to be true – which I personally doubt – what about coal, gypsum, zinc and other valuable minerals or how about the sun, air and water? How should those natural resources, also currently assessed fees or taxes by The White Man and his Nation, or in this case, the sovereign state of Oklahoma?

All that makes for a sticky wicket you see,

well beyond the mental capacity of me!

And indeed, even Attorney General Hunter is having a fit,

But much better him than a fellow by the name of Stitt!

Map: Kmusser/WikipediaCommons

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Cal Hobson
Cal Hobson, a Lexington Democrat, served in the Oklahoma Legislature from 1978-2006, including one term as Senate President Pro Tempore.