Navajo court rules man can't serve tribe and state
The Navajo Nation Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a tribal member can't serve the Navajo Nation Council at the same time he serves in the New Mexico Legislature.

Leonard Tsosie was elected in November as one of the delegates from the Whitehorse Lake, Pueblo Pintado and Torreon chapters. But since he also serves in the New Mexico Senate, the court ruled he can't carry out his term.

"A person may not swear to obey and serve simultaneously the laws of the (Navajo) Nation and the state of New Mexico," the court said, the Associated Press reported.

At issue was a conflict between the tribal election code and traditional law. Tsosie argued that traditional law, which allows Navajos to choose their own leaders, trumps the election code, which bars elected officials from serving in two legislative bodies.

Tsosie will apparently have to give up his seat to Lavern Wagner.

Get the Story:
Navajo Supreme Court Rules Tsosie Can't Serve on Two Legislative Bodies (AP 1/18)
Decision on Tsosie still out (The Gallup Independent 1/18)

Relevant Links:
Navajo Nation Council - http://www.navajonationcouncil.org

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