Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta

Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Respondent.

Brief filed: 04/04/2022


Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 21-429


Oklahoma asserts authority to prosecute crimes committed by non-Indians against Indians in Indian country concurrently with the federal government's authority under the General Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1152. ("GCA"). Pet. Br. 2-3. That post- McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S. Ct. 2452, 2463 (2020), power grab contradicts a century of history, precedent, and policy that allocates to the federal government and the tribes exclusive jurisdiction-- to the exclusion of the States--over Indian country crimes involving Indians absent clear congressional authorization to the contrary. Respondent and his amici demonstrate those points. This brief shows that basic principles of criminal liability rooted in the separation of powers, due process, and traditional restraint in construing criminal laws corroborate that conclusion.


Barbara E. Bergman, NACDL, Tucson, AZ; Melissa C. Cassel, O'Melveny & Myers LLP, San Francisco, CA; Michael R. Dreeben and Elena Zarabozo, O'Melveny & Myers LLP, Washington,  DC; Branton Nestor, O'Melveny & Myers LLP, Newport Beach, CA; Bruce Pettig, O'Melveny & Myers LLP, New York, NY.

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