In McGirt v. Oklahoma, the Supreme Court has decided that a large section of Oklahoma is part of the Muscogee reservation. Now, the vast majority of the reservation's residents are not tribal members. What will happen to them, in terms of their political representation? Can they vote in local, state, and Federal elections? Will they be counted when determining State and Federal congressional seats?

  • 2
    Could this be a more general question about non-tribal members living on a reservation?
    – divibisan
    Jul 9, 2020 at 23:05
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    The decision is written very narrowly so the impact should be effectively nil. As I understand it, what it means is that a crime committed by a tribal member against another tribal member is not subject to non-tribal state or local law, but is still subject to federal law. I'm sure someone more knowledgable than me can provide a fuller brief on the impact of the ruling.
    – Don Hosek
    Jul 10, 2020 at 1:28
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    @DonHosek That should be "a crime committed by a tribal member on tribal/reservation lands", otherwise yes. Victims of the crime need not be tribe members. Tribe members will also be exempted from state taxes, and the tribes may find it easier to do things like build casinos and control alcohol sales. And some consider federal trials more favorable than state ones for the defendant, though that will depend on the particulars of the case. Jul 10, 2020 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


The "Indian Citizenship Act" and the "Voting rights act" make it clear that native Americans, as well as others living on reservation land, are 1) also citizens of the USA and 2) eligible to vote. And of course I mean they are citizens and eligible unless disqualified in some other way.

So Oklahoma retains its congressional and electoral college representation, and people in Oklahoma can continue to vote, as before.

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