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State Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case (Feb 23, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Supreme Court has agreed to take jurisdiction of a lawsuit concerning the water rights of two Oklahoma-based American Indian tribes in their historic territories in southeastern Oklahoma.

The state's highest court took the action in an order handed down on Thursday. Its refusal to take jurisdiction would have meant the lawsuit would have to originate in a district court.

A hearing in the case is scheduled before a Supreme Court referee on April 19.

Earlier this month, Attorney General Scott Pruitt asked the Supreme Court to preside over a comprehensive stream adjudication of the water rights of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations in southeastern Oklahoma streams.

In a statement, Pruitt says the high court's decision indicates that justices understand that water rights issues are important to all Oklahomans.

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