Judge Denies Request by Cherokee Candidate

Jun 19, 2013

Credit Cherokee Nation Welcome Center

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A federal judge in Tulsa has rejected an attempt by a Cherokee Nation candidate to allow descendants of the tribe's freed slaves to vote in an election this weekend.

U.S. District Judge Terence Kern denied the bid Tuesday by Robin Mayes. Mayes is a candidate for an at-large tribal council spot.

In his four-page ruling, Kern says Mayes had not convinced the court that his claim could succeed.

For years, an unresolved battle has waged in federal courts over the eligibility of about 3,000 of the slaves' descendants — known as freedmen — to become citizens of the Cherokee Nation, which has about 330,000 members.