November 13, 2013
To the Editor,
This is in response to a letter to the editor by Richard Terry Locklear that was published on Nov. 7.
In my previous letter, I was addressing whether the Lumbee Supreme Court had the authority/power to remove any elected member of the Lumbee government. Article IV Section 2 in part indicates where the authority/power resides to remove elected members of the tribe: “A recall election shall be held when a petition bearing the signatures, names, addresses, and enrollment numbers of at least ten (10) percent of the eligible voters who voted in the election from the district electing a tribal official or ten (10) percent of eligible voter who voted in the election for tribal chairperson, alleging in one hundred (100) words or less that the tribal official is guilty of malfeasance in office, gross disregard for tribal law or custom, or open abuse of authority, and designating three signatories as a Petitioner’s Committee, is with the Tribal Elections Board.”
The three branches of government are separate from each other and the constitution does not give any single one the authority to remove a duly elected member of the government. That power is reserved for the people who gave them the power to act in their names through a written, ratified constitution.
In my previous letter I was not writing in support of any tribal official or candidate for office. If anyone is unhappy with the performance of their elected representative in the Lumbee Tribal government, there is a procedure for them to address their concern. Dictator action is not one of them. If I am wrong in my view, please point to the article and section in the Lumbee Constitution that would indicate the error.