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The Time is “Now” Says the Navajo Supreme Court

The Time is “Now” Says the Navajo Supreme Court
February 23
16:20 2015

Navajo LOGO SMALLThe long awaited “presidential election” ruling by the Navajo Supreme Court was made Friday. The ruling disallows the Navajo nation Council’s legislation which was going to mean a new primary in June and a new election in August. Friday’s ruling tells election officials to hold the election ASAP.

The legislation passed by council, and signed by President Ben Shelly, was called a “feeble” attempt in the court’s ruling.

In fact, in the court’s ruling it claims, “The initial effort of this Court to have the election by Jan. 31, 2015 has been further delayed by the Council’s most recent grab for power.”

The election was originally supposed to be held on November 4th, to coincide with elections across the USA. Then it was rescheduled for December 23 and then late-January. The issue that delayed the election in the first place was the candidacy of Lechee native Chris Deschene, who was alleged by two failed presidential primary candidates of not speaking the Navajo language fluently.

It was an allegation never proven. And it was an allegation that lit-up the entire Navajo Nation, which remains divided. Many are still upset over the court’s handling of the situation. There were many who felt Mr. Deschene was mistreated all along. Letters to the editor of the Navajo Times week-in and week-out demonstrate that unhappiness.

One letter writer this week claims the courts should not even be involved in this process; that their job is to merely interpret the laws. The letter writer adds, “This should not even be heard by the courts.”

The ruling by the Navajo Supreme Court Friday tells the council speaker to hold the election at the earliest possible date. There will be no primary. The election will simply pit Joe Shirley Junior against Russell Begaye.

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