Navajo Nation Supreme Court takes case on the road

Correction: The hearing will take place March 17, not February 17 as incorrectly stated before.

The Navajo Nation Supreme Court will be holding a session at the University of Michigan Law School next month, March 17.

The court will hear oral arguments in a double jeopardy case involving a tribal member. James Kelly is challenging his convictions for a fatal auto accident, saying he was convicted twice for the same crime.

According to the University of Michigan Law School, the Navajo court will consider the origins of the double jeopardy legal theory. The justices will decide whether the concept arises from federal law, New Mexico law, or from Navajo law.

The court has taken its cases on the road in the past. The justices heard the infamous Russell Means jurisdiction case at the Harvard University School of Law and eventually ruled that he is subject to tribal authority based on Navajo treaty law. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals also upheld tribal jurisdiction based on federal law.

Get the Story:
Press Release: Navajo Supreme Court to hear double jeopardy case at U-M Law School (University of Michigan 2/13)

Russell Means Jurisdiction Decision:
Russell Means v. Navajo Nation (August 23, 2005)

US v. Lara Decision:
Syllabus | Opinion [Breyer] | Concurrence [Stevens] | Concurrence [Kennedy | Concurrence [Thomas] | Dissent [Souter]

Relevant Links:
Russell Means -
Navajo Nation -

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