Cherokee Nation Supreme Court dismisses writ requesting campaign audit
TAHLEQUAH – In a case related to the 2019 Cherokee tribal election, the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court recently dismissed a Writ of Mandamus request by petitioners asking that the court order an audit of the campaign of Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.
On Feb. 10, the court found insufficient reason to order the Cherokee Nation Election Commission to conduct the audit. The requested writ listed nine Cherokee citizens as petitioners, who asked the court to order the CNEC to execute its duties under CN Code to “audit all financial reports and disclosures required by this Act,” ensure compliance and perform general duties.
The petitioners also cited Article VIII, Section 4 of the Constitution: “In support of its original and appellate jurisdiction, the Supreme Court shall have the power to issue, hear, and determine writs of habeas cuprous, mandamus, quo warranto, certiorari, prohibition and such other remedial writs as may be provided by law and may exercise such other jurisdiction as may be conferred by statute. The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall extend to all cases at law and in equity arising under the laws or Constitution of the Cherokee Nation.”
In its refusal, the court cited previous cases, particularly the 2015 decision in Chad Smith v. Cherokee Nation Election Commission and Bill John Baker, which addressed the petition and “certain identifying information.”
The court said the tribal code also “provides and requires a specific statement of each alleged violation of the election code in force at the time of the alleged violation.” The petition must also include the dates of any alleged violations, identify those who made the violations and the precinct where they happened.
Citing the Smith ruling and Title 26 CNCA Section 101 D when throwing out the writ request, the CNSC said, “If the appeal petition does not contain the required information, or if the allegations do not allege sufficient violations to affect and election outcome, the petition shall be deemed frivolous and is hereby dismissed.”