In Today's Indian Law Supreme Court Case, the State of Oklahoma's Lawyer Is Himself Indian

Fun fact about McGirt v. Oklahoma, where Oklahoma is arguing against the claim that Indian tribes had maintained jurisdiction over large chunks of Oklahoma (including Tulsa).


Oh, wait ….

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  1. Sometimes, it seems like the universe itself has an off color sense of humor.

    1. Off which color?

  2. Some years ago the New York Law Journal had a cover story about a quadriplegic trial lawyer whose specialty was defending high-value personal injury cases (including quadriplegic plaintiffs). Of course it was a puff piece (this being the NYLJ); one question they never asked him was, “How do you sleep at night?”

    1. I guess you’re joking. Do you realize that Eugene was, too?

      1. He is not joking.

      2. What blew by both you and Eugene was: people who insist on saying “Native American” are not necessarily being P.C. it blows by you because neither population is anywhere near your world or your frame of reference. About as important as the difference between cesium and cerium.

        1. Yep. Native American at least avoids the dot vs feather confusion.

        2. captcrisis: My joke was precisely about the confusion caused by “Indian” meaning both (1) from India and (2) American Indian. Unsurprisingly, I therefore don’t object to people who eliminate that particular confusion by saying “Native American” (though that creates its own possible ambiguity, given that this phrase could also mean someone born in America).

          I tend to say “American Indian,” which is still a commonly used term; and, at least when I last checked, in 2004, more American Indians preferred it themselves. (At some point, terms do become so dated that I would switch from them, e.g., “Negro” or “Hebrew,” but I don’t think this has happened here yet.) I also talk about “Indian law” or (when needed to avoid ambiguity) “American Indian law,” because that’s the traditional legal term. And I would object to people demanding that I say “Native American.” But I certainly don’t object to people using that term themselves, and might sometimes use it myself when it’s helpful to avoid ambiguity or awkwardness (e.g., “group X is 10% East Asians, 5% Indians, and 2% Native Americans” rather than “… 5% Indians and 2% American Indians”).

          1. Another definition of “Native American” is someone whose ancestors were here in 1776. Often called “nativists”, they were the backbone of the “Know Nothing” Party.

            1. Thanks, but is the term still used in that sense today? (I agree that it once was, and that the Know-Nothing Party was formally called the Native American Party, but it’s 160 years gone.)

              1. Pope John Paul II ended most of it — it was based in a genuine hatred between Catholics and Protestants. It was a bigger divide than Christian/Jew ever could be — Northern Ireland is more complicated because the Protestants are actually *Scotch* who were deported over there to control Scotland — but still…

                And it wasn’t 160 years ago — the Klan marched in DC in 1925 & 1926 — see:

                1. Do you literally mean that “Pope John Paul II ended most of” the use of the term “Native American” to refer to descendants of people who were in the U.S. in 1776? If you’re just saying that his actions diminished Catholic/Protestant tension in the U.S., can you tell me whether (and, if so, where) the term Native American was still used in the 1776-descendant sense even as of John Paul II’s papacy?

          2. I’ve had more than one person request to be called “American Indian”. They considered “Native American” to be pedantic. This was years ago, so I never got the chance to ask about “First Nation”, but I suspect that it would be met with the same sort of response as calling a black man “colored” or a Hispanic woman a “Latinx” (which is actually incredibly insulting, as you demean their language and heritage to put a foreign consonant in their own identity).

    2. captcrisis — I knew someone who’d become a paralegal after being seriously injured in a shipyard. He proceeded to work for a law firm that defended the shipyard in worker’s comp cases, and his attitude toward his former cohort & union was “none of those &%$#@ ever stopped by after I got hurt to make sure I was eating regularly or anything, so &%$# them!!!”

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