February 22, 2011
TULSA, Okla. (Feb. 22, 2011) – The United States Supreme Court decided Tuesday to ask for the views of the Solicitor General concerning the status of the Osage Nation Reservation before the Court will determine whether to hear the case.
“While this is just another step in what has been a very lengthy process, we are relieved by today’s decision and will continue to pursue every option available to us,” Osage Nation Principal Chief John Red Eagle said. “We are confident in the merits of our case, and we are hopeful the Supreme Court accepts our Cert petition.”
The Osage Nation has contended it has a federally-recognized reservation which makes its tribal members living and working on the reservation, under federal law, exempt from paying state income taxes. The Oklahoma Tax Commission said the reservation was disestablished, but failed to identify any clear language in any act of Congress which supports that claim. The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Nation’s request for rehearing in May.
The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision about whether to hear the case later this year.