Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cherokee by Blood are Serious when it comes to the Will of the People

As requested by many of you, here is the Section of the Constitution which speaks to recalling an elected official.

1999 Cherokee Nation Constitution as approved by the Cherokee People in 2003:

Article XI. Removal From Office

Section 1. The Principal Chief, Deputy Principal Chief, members of the Council, Attorney General and Marshal shall be subject to removal from office for willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, habitual drunkenness, incompetency or any conviction of a felony, or a crime under the laws of the Cherokee Nation that if committed in some other jurisdiction would be a felony, or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or offenses against the Cherokee Nation committed while in office.

Section 2. Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, all other appointed officials shall be subject to removal for cause, as prescribed by law.

Section 3. No official may be removed under Sections 1 or 2 of this Article or Section 8 of Article VIII except after trial before the Council, with the accused having been afforded due process and opportunity to be heard. Provided, removal under Sections 1 or 2 of this Article or Section 8 of Article VIII shall require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the Council.

Section 4. Separate from the Council's removal powers, the People of the Cherokee Nation reserve unto themselves the exclusive power to recall any elected official through petition and recall referendum. A petition must be signed by Cherokee citizens registered to vote. In the case of Principal Chief or Deputy Principal Chief, signatures must total a number equaling or exceeding fifteen percent (15%) of the total number of registered voters in the previous general election. In the case of district offices, signatures must total the greater of five hundred (500) or twenty-five percent (25%) of the total number of registered voters in that district in the previous
general election. The signed petition shall be filed with the Election Commission to determine whether the signatures are valid. Said determination shall be made within thirty (30) days after the filing of same. Upon verification of the requisite number of signatures the Election Commission shall certify the petition as valid and notify the Council and the Secretary of State.  Upon notification of a valid certified petition the Council shall immediately call for and approve a special recall election for the office in question within sixty (60) days. The special recall election shall be limited in scope to the voting populous for the elected office in question. Votes casts shall be tabulated and the results certified in the same manner as in general elections. A majority vote to affirm the official shall retain the official in office. A majority vote to recall shall immediately remove the official from office. In the event of a tie-vote the Council shall call a special meeting to conduct a tie-breaking vote. Elected offices vacated under this section shall be filled as otherwise provided in this Constitution.