Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch includes the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court and District Court. The Supreme Court is composed of five justices all of whom are Cherokee citizens and are admitted to practice law before the highest court of any state of the United States. Justices are appointed by the Principal Chief and confirmed by the Tribal Council to serve a ten-year term. The justice having two years remaining in their term as justice will serve as Chief Justice through the remainder of their term. The Supreme Court has original and appellate jurisdiction and has the power to issue, hear, and determine writs as may be provided by law. The appellate jurisdiction shall extend to all cases of law and in equity arising under the laws of the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation.

Current members of the Supreme Court are Lee W. Paden, Chief Justice; Mark L. Dobbins; John C. Garrett; Shawna S. Baker; and Rex Earl Starr.

The district court serves citizens by providing a forum for general jurisdiction over disputes arising under the laws and constitution of Cherokee Nation. District court judges are selected in the same manner as the justices and serve four-year terms.

Please visit the Judicial Branch for more information.