Dedicated his legal career to furthering Native American sovereignty

Jess Green was born in Ada, Oklahoma, on September 21, 1952. The proud member of the Chickasaw Nation graduated from East Central University with academic honors and went on to obtain his juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma School of Law in 1977.

Upon graduating from law school, Green began practicing law and used much of his expertise to further Native American sovereignty. Green aided in the establishment of the first Native American juvenile court after the passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act. He also assisted in reuniting Chickasaw children with the families that had been torn apart by the state systems.

During his extensive legal career, Green successfully defended in the U.S. vs. MegaMania Gambling Devices case and again in the Ashcroft vs. Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma case, both in the Tenth Circuit. These significant court cases allowed class II gaming in the state of Oklahoma, and paved the way for Oklahoma gaming operations.

Green’s successful career includes eight years as a state court judge, tribal court trial judge, tribal court prosecutor and the Chickasaw Nation Supreme Court Chief Justice. He is admired by the Chickasaw people for his dedication to fighting for the rights of Native Americans. Jess Green passed away on September 8, 2012.

Accomplishments

  • Inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2011
  • State district court judge (eight years)
  • Served as tribal court prosecutor
  • Served as tribal court trial judge
  • Chief justice of a tribal supreme court
  • Vice-chair the American Bar Association Judiciary Committee
  • Chair of the Oklahoma Bar Association Indian Law Section
  • Chair of the Chickasaw Bar Association
  • National Indian Gaming Association Lifetime Achievement Award (2012)
  • Oklahoma Supreme Court Service Award (2012)
  • Tim Wapato Sovereign Warrior Award (2011)
  • Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Chairman’s Award for Extraordinary Service (2012)