Emergency legislation to water down Navajo language fluency is unfair, says Council Delegate Witherspoon

Here at the Navajo Nation Council where lawmakers heatly debating Legislation 0298-14 “An Action Relating To An Emergency; To Address A Matter Which Directly Threatens The Sovereignty Of The Navajo Nation; Amending Language Requirements Of The Navajo Nation”

The Council has been debating since about 6:30 p.m. It is now 9:30 p.m.

Navajo Council Delegate Katherine Benally said that she is on record

Navajo Council Delegate Jonathan Nez
we are empowering election board to go after non-Navajo speaking elected officials. I hate for this to become witch hunt. why are we making this so difficult? why are we blaming Supreme Court? Are we doing that to get hear off us. Supreme Court made ruling and someone can file lawsuit against Council and then we’ll back in here with another emergency legislation. there are bigger issues for Council to address. and there are, about 20 bills more.

Navajo Council Delegate Dwight Witherspoon
Am I impaired to vote on this legislation because if vote down then i am protecting my qualifications. the only way for council to vote fairly is for this legislation to become effective in future elections. who benefits from this legislation? Shirley? Deschene? and we are asking to make changes to election law two weeks before election. this is so unfair on so many levels. only way be fair is make applicable to future elections.

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