Update on process regarding judicial appointments
NAVAJO NATION, Ariz. - This update addresses the process for judicial appointments presently under way for vacant positions on the Navajo Nation Supreme Court and district courts.
Presently, one associate justice position on the Supreme Court is vacant. The Law and Order Committee has conducted the screening for this position. Of four applicants, the committee has determined that two have met the minimum qualifications as set forth in the Navajo Nation Code. The two applicants are Levon B. Henry and Regina Holyan. The committee has scheduled Nov. 21 to conduct interviews.
The Law and Order Committee has conducted the screening and interviews for three vacant district court judge positions. These positions will be at Tuba City, Crownpoint and Kayenta. Four applicants met the minimum qualifications. They are Lee R. Belone, Kenneth Howard Jr., Lawrence John and Leonard Livingston.
There are also two district court positions - one in Chinle and one in Pinon - that are currently being advertised by the Judicial Branch's Human Resources Department.
Per 7 N.N.C. § 355, the President of the Navajo Nation makes judicial appointments with confirmation by the Navajo Nation Council from among applicants recommended by the Law and Order Committee. Judges and justices are appointed for a probationary period of two years.
Qualifications for judicial appointments are set forth at 7 N.N.C. § 354 of the Navajo Nation Code.
Applicants for district court judicial appointment must be an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, over 30-years-old, have no felony convictions or any convictions of a major crime as defined by the United States Code in any jurisdiction, no misdemeanor convictions five years prior to the application in any jurisdiction, a minimum of an Associate of Arts or Science degree with preference for higher education and with particular preference for a law degree, four years direct work experience in a law related area, working knowledge of Navajo and applicable federal and state laws, knowledge of Navajo language, culture and tradition, no substance abuse or addiction, managerial ability and Navajo Nation Bar Association membership. Applicants must also submit to a writing test, show that they have no past conflicts of interest and no violations of ethics including the Navajo Nation Ethics in Government Law. Applicants for judicial appointment to the Supreme Court must additionally possess a four-year bachelor's degree with a preference for a JD or LLM degree.