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U.S. Justice Department removes state water case from Oklahoma Supreme Court

The U.S. Justice Department on Monday removed a lawsuit over Oklahoma water from the Oklahoma Supreme Court to federal court in Oklahoma City.
by Nolan Clay Published: March 13, 2012
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His assistants were aware of the removal notice and were reviewing it, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Gov. Mary Fallin and her staff are examining the legal briefs filed by the Justice Department and are conferring with attorneys, a governor's spokesman said late Monday.

The Chickasaw and Choctaw nations claim the water rights were granted to them in the 1830s through a series of treaties with the federal government and that any removal of water is in direct violation of federal law.

The two tribes filed a water rights lawsuit of their own last year in federal court in Oklahoma City.

“Removal will facilitate resolution of the common federal questions underlying both actions, thereby conserving judicial resources,” the Justice Department attorney wrote.

Contributing:

Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau

by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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