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Supreme Court to hear Native American criminal procedure case and First Amendment question for foreign entities
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Supreme Court to hear Native American criminal procedure case and First Amendment question for foreign entities

The Supreme Court granted certiorari in two cases on Friday in addition to taking up appeals surrounding President Donald Trump’s financial records.

The issue in McGirt v. Oklahoma is whether the prosecution of an enrolled member of the Creek Tribe for crimes committed within the historical Creek boundaries is subject to exclusive federal jurisdiction. The petitioner, McGirt, is seeking release from incarceration by petitioning the court that Oklahoma lacked jurisdiction to convict him for sex crimes committed against a child within Creek boundaries. In the writ of certiorari, Oklahoma argued that Sharp v. Murphy should have rendered the petition moot.

The court is reopening United States Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, Inc. In 2013 the court held that the First Amendment bars enforcement of Congress’ directive to “have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking” as a condition of accepting federal funds to combat HIV/AIDS abroad. The current question presented is whether the First Amendment further bars enforcement of that directive with respect to legally distinct foreign entities operating overseas that are affiliated with the Alliance for Open Society International, Inc. The United States Agency for International Development is arguing that the foreign recipients have no First Amendment rights to deny, while the Alliance for Open Society International is arguing that the previous decision should be final because it is the application of settled principles and there is no circuit split or conflict with the current precedent. Justice Elena Kagan took no part in the consideration of this petition.