Muscogee Supreme court calls for censure of council

Okmulgee, Oklahoma (AP) 9-07

The legislative body of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation should face public censure for disputes over the tribe’s budgetary process and between the tribe’s executive and legislative bodies, the 60,000-member tribe’s supreme court has ruled.

The decision issued Aug. 30th came months after Creek Chief A.D. Ellis filed a protest in February 2006, complaining about behavior of the 26-member council.

Five members of the six-judge panel found that the national council acted contemptuously during the exercise of its duty and ignored a court directive.

In their opinion, the tribal judges expressed concern over the dissension between the tribe’s governmental branches.

“Both branches must work together to complete the budget process with no single branch having more power than any other branch,” the judges wrote.

Justice Leah Harjo Ware dissented, saying there were no tribal constitutional limitations on the national council’s authority to legislate appropriations.

Ware wrote that she found no evidence that the Creek council was in contempt or attempted to disregard a supreme court directive.

As such she refused to acknowledge moves to hold the tribal council in criminal contempt.

Information from: Tulsa World,