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Legislation Introduced to Fire Justice Yazzie

Legislation Introduced to Fire Justice Yazzie
March 26
15:50 2015

Delegate Leonard Tsosie

By Mike Reilley

The same Navajo Nation Council delegate who introduced the fluency referendum on March 13, Leonard Tsosie, has introduced new legislation that asks for the removal of Navajo Nation Supreme Court Chief Justice Herb Yazzie.

The legislation was introduced Tuesday. It takes aim at the person who has made decision after decision over the past half year that has kept Lechee native Chris Deschene off the Navajo Presidential ballot. But according to Tsosie’s legislation, he’s been circumventing Navajo election laws in the process.

In talking to Lake Powell Communications on Wednesday, Mr. Tsosie says for one thing,  Justice Yazzie has not abided by Navajo Nation law with respect to putting the Judicial Conduct Commission back together.

“”It would allow for the Navajo people to have a relief when they have a grievance against a judge or a justice,” said Tsosie. “Even though the Council has funded the commission, it has not happened.”

Another issue outlined in the lengthy legislation is how Yazzie has reportedly violated the law that allows for separation of powers by usurping the powers of the legislative branch and the executive branch and the committees that oversee the finding.

“He’s been ordering the controller with funding activity without oversight or any approval from the appropriate bodies, pursuant to Navajo Nation law.” added Tsosie.

We asked Mr. Tsosie what he expects the reaction to be among council delegates.

“I believe we can prove our case before the committee and also the council at large,” he said. “So I believe they will be receptive to it.”

What happens now, according to Council member Tsosie, is a two-stage process.

“It has to go to the Law & Order Committee first, and they will make the recommendation,” said Mr. Tsosie. “In our law there is a five-day waiting period before legislation is considered by committee.”

He said this allows the public to review the legislation:

Comments on the legislation are accepted until Monday (3/30)  8:30 A.M. by sending an email to:

[email protected]

Comments cannot be anonymous and must come from a legitimate email address.

After Monday the Law & Order Committee will get together, and depending on the recommendation, the Navajo Nation Council will then go into special session.

According to Leonard Tsosie, the special session would be treated as a hearing and it would be up to Herb Yazzie to be there to defend himself.

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