Navajo chief justice confirmed to lifetime term

Window Rock, Arizona (AP) 10-07

Navajo Chief Justice Herb Yazzie will serve a lifetime term.

The Tribal Council voted 64-2 during October to confirm Yazzie to the post. The vote came on the last day of the council’s fall session.

The council confirmed Yazzie as the Navajo Supreme Court’s 20th chief justice in April 2005.

All judges are appointed to a two-year probation period, after which time the council’s Judiciary Committee either recommends permanent status or a release from duties.

Yazzie is the second person to serve in the top legal position in each of the tribe’s three branches of government.

The Vietnam veteran was the tribe’s attorney general in the executive branch and was the chief legislative counsel for the Navajo Nation Council before joining the court.

Yazzie, of Dennehotso, Ariz., has a law degree from Arizona State University.