Supreme Court allows Crow member to run for Tribal Office

Billings, Montana (AP) January 2011

The Montana Supreme Court says the Big Horn County justice of the peace was not required to resign from that post when he ran for the office of Crow tribal chairman.

The Billings Gazette reports the Supreme Court’s Dec. 30 decision came in the case of Leroy Not Afraid, who did not win the chairmanship.

The Judicial Standards Commission recommended the Supreme Court publicly reprimand Not Afraid for violating the state Constitution, which requires a judge to forfeit his or her position upon filing for a nonjudicial elected public office.

The Supreme Court denied the recommendation, noting the provision requires a judge to resign from his office upon becoming “a candidate for election to any elective office under the laws of the state of Montana.”

The court said the tribal chairmanship is created and governed by tribal law.