A Muscogee Creek Nation district court has recently made a significant ruling granting citizenship to freedmen of the Muscogee Creek Nation. This decision raises questions about the implications it will have moving forward, particularly regarding criminal jurisdiction. As an attorney handling federal and tribal cases in Indian country and Eastern Oklahoma, I aim to provide clarity on this matter.
The Ruling and Background
On September 27th, Judge Mauser of the district court of the Muscogee Creek Nation issued a ruling on the disputed applications of two freedmen seeking citizenship within the Nation. To understand the context, it’s important to note that in a treaty dating back to 1866, the Muscogee Creek Nation promised the United States government that their freedmen, African-Americans previously held as slaves by Muscogee Creek Nation members, would be granted citizenship. However, a provision in the Muscogee Creek Nation constitution adopted in the 1970s contradicted this treaty, stating that freedmen would not be eligible for citizenship.
Implications of the Ruling
In this recent ruling, Judge Mouser upheld the 1866 treaty and granted citizenship to the two individuals in question, suggesting that others in similar situations may also be eligible for citizenship. However, it’s crucial to note that the Muscogee Creek Nation Attorney General has expressed strong disagreement with the ruling and plans to appeal to the Muscogee Creek Nation Supreme Court. Therefore, the matter is still unresolved, and further legal proceedings are expected.
Challenges and Potential Conflicts
While this ruling may come as a surprise to some, it is not yet conclusive. Similar issues regarding Freedmen have arisen in the Cherokee Nation in the past. Looking ahead, it is important to consider potential challenges and conflicts. Firstly, an appeal to the Muscogee Creek Nation Supreme Court is pending, and their decision will shed more light on the matter. Additionally, the ruling does not address the issue of criminal jurisdiction over Freedmen. It’s worth noting that the federal definition of who qualifies for criminal jurisdiction as an Indian will not change based on this ruling or any changes in the Muscogee Creek Nation’s citizenship policies.
Call for a Free Consultation
If you have any questions or concerns about this issue or any matters related to the Muscogee Creek Nation, please feel free to reach out to us. We are here to help you with your federal or tribal cases. Contact us at (918) 947-6552 for a free consultation. My name is Ted Hasse, and I specialize in navigating legal matters in Indian country and Eastern Oklahoma.