Friday, February 27, 2009

Mohegan Voting Rights Trial Date Canceled

Feather News

The Mohegan voting rights trial, scheduled for March 2, 2009, has been canceled pending the outcome of a motion for summary judgment filed last week by the attorney representing the Mohegan Tribe Election Committee.

The case, Kenneth Davison v. The Mohegan Tribe Election Committee, et al, challenges the constitutionality of the election ordinance which requires members to vote for each elective position available.

Davison asserts, among other things, that requiring Tribal members to vote for all seats up for election is a violation of Tribal members' free speech rights and also violates the Constitution's voting clause which states that voters "shall be entitled to cast one vote for each elective position available."

The trial had been scheduled for March 2, 2009 but the attorney for the election committee is requesting the judge to rule on the case based on facts presented to the the Tribal Court last week. Davison has until March 13th to respond and the election committee has an opportunity to respond to Davison's objection by March 27.

Davison filed the Tribal Court complaint on September 15, 2008 and the judge soon after denied the defendant's motion to dismiss the case.

Davison voted for three candidates in the past two election run-offs in which four elective positions were available. Davison is representing himself pro-se, without an attorney. The Tribe has engaged three outside attorneys in their defense.