April 26, 2021

In the landmark McGirt v. Oklahoma case, the US Supreme Court last year ruled that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s federal reservation endures—which meant that the state lacked jurisdiction to prosecute our pro bono client.The New York Times called it “one of the most consequential legal victories for Native Americans in decades.”

On April 23, the ACLU of Oklahoma announced that the McGirt legal team would be honored with its Angie Debo Civil Libertarian Award. This award is named in honor of the writer, historian, and civil rights advocate Angie Debo, who relentlessly pursued justice in cooperation with the ACLU of Oklahoma during the late 1960s and 1970s. It is the highest award presented by the ACLU of Oklahoma and has been presented annually since 1971 for outstanding achievement in the fight for civil rights and civil liberties.

The award was presented virtually at the ACLU of Oklahoma’s annual membership meeting on April 24.

Partner Ian Heath Gershengorn argued the case before the Court. Others firm team members included Partner Zachary C. Schauf, Associates Leonard R. PowellAllison M. Tjemsland, and Kathryn L. Wynbrandt. Senior Paralegal Cheryl Olson provided critical support.