Saturday, May 07, 2022

Senate candidate Alex Gray wants to fix McGirt ruling by disestablishing Five Civilized Tribes reservations


In a radio interview on the Hugh Hewitt Show yesterday, U.S. Senate special election candidate Alex Gray dropped a political bombshell when he pledged to author legislation to "disestablish the five historic Indian reservations that the U.S. Supreme Court in McGirt kind of created out of whole cloth [... to] start the process of fixing the mess that McGirt put us in."

Gray's interview focused on the tremendous judicial and criminal issues Oklahoma has faced since the controversial ruling on McGirt v. Oklahoma, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Five Civilized Tribes were actually reservations that had never been disestablished in Oklahoma, and that state officials therefore cannot prosecute many crimes involving American Indian victims or criminals. Gov. Kevin Stitt has been almost alone among elected officials fighting to restore some sanity to the justice system in the aftermath of McGirt, which has gone so far as some tribal chiefs saying that tribal citizens are now exempt from state taxation.

You can read the transcript or listen to Gray's interview at this link.

Here's a brief summary tweeted out by Gray. He draws a contrast between himself and fellow GOP candidate T.W. Shannon, former Speaker of the State House and a prominent member of the Chickasaw Nation:

Gray's interview drew a swift rebuke from the leaders of the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Muscogee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole Nations):

I feel like Gray is something of a wild card in this very crowded race. Fundraising reports at the end of the first quarter had Gray with $330k raised ($200k via personal loan) and $300k in cash-on-hand, not terribly far behind T.W. Shannon, but well behind Cong. Markwayne Mullin (who wrote his campaign a million dollar check) and Inhofe chief-of-staff Luke Holland (raised $820k, including a $200k loan). 

13 Republicans are running for this open seat.


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