The Pryor Times

March 4, 2013

CN upholds voting districts


— TAHLEQUAH  — The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that 15 Tribal Council voting districts is constitutional.

“The boundaries of these districts variously follow county lines, highways, rivers and zip code boundaries,” Justice James Wilcoxen wrote in the Supreme Court’s opinion. “Not in every instance are these districts contiguous or compact. This court does not find that there is a sufficient basis to interfere with the actions of the Tribal Council.”

In January, a Cherokee Nation District Court judge had also ruled that the Tribal Council had followed proper legal channels within the Cherokee Nation Constitution when a majority of council members voted to redistrict from five districts to 15 voting districts.

A minority of the council appealed to the Supreme Court.

The 15 districts were drawn to keep communities intact and provide each Tribal Council member about 7,000 Cherokee constituents to serve per district.