Navajo leader to appeal ruling on electing judges

Window Rock, Arizona (AP) October 2010

The president of the Navajo Nation says he’ll appeal a court decision that allows a referendum to elect tribal judges to remain on the November ballot.

Joe Shirley Jr. had argued that the legislation calling for the referendum is invalid because it wasn’t sent to him for consideration.

A tribal judge denied Shirley’s request for a preliminary injunction this week but did not immediately explain his decision.

Shirley spokesman George Hardeen said recently that the president will appeal once the judge issues a written opinion. Hardeen says a successful appeal would ensure that future Navajo presidents are able to review referendum measures.

Proponents of the measure says the court’s decision is in the best interest of Navajos.