More separation of powers issues in Navajo Nation?

The Tribal Council of the Navajo Nation just authorized the top lawyer for the Nation’s legislative branch the power to issue opinions, contract with outside attorneys, and enforce election codes.

The Council voted 67-6 in favor of a bill this week that grants powers to the legislative counsel that had been reserved for the attorney general in legislative branch matters.

Navajo President Joe Shirley Jr. has 10 days to veto or approve the measure once it reaches his desk.

The bill’s sponsor contended that the Nation’s current attorney general is biased toward the council and that a legislative counsel would better represent lawmakers.

Other lawmakers questioned how conflicts created when dueling opinions are issued would be resolved.
The council wraps up its winter session Friday.

This new development may be part of the recent reorganization of the Tribal Council advocated by the Nation’s President to lessen the number of Tribal Council members.

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