Tribunal Approves Cherokee Constitution - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Tribunal Approves Cherokee Constitution

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) -- A Cherokee Nation tribunal has ruled that the tribe's 1999 constitution is its governing document and should take effect immediately.

Two members of the three-justice panel ruled that approval of the document by the Bureau of Indian Affairs is not necessary. The document had been approved by Cherokee voters in a referendum question but had been awaiting federal approval for years.

The new constitution creates a speaker of the tribe's legislative council to lead council meetings and be third in line in succession behind the principal chief and deputy chief.

It also changes the name of the tribe's Judicial Appeals Tribunal to Supreme Court and requires five judges instead of three.

Among other provisions, the new constitution also prohibits elected officials from holding office for more than two consecutive terms.
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