Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Burris Takes Office on Cherokee Supreme Court

Lynn Burris, left, repeats the oath of office while his daughter, Amber George, holds the Bible and as Burris is sworn into office as a Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Justice by Justice John Garrett, right, who is retired from his former service as a judge for Sequoyah County and neighboring counties.

Lynn Burris was sworn in as a Cherokee Nation Supreme Court justice at a ceremony Jan. 2 at the Cherokee Nation Courthouse.

Burris, of Tahlequah, will serve a 10-year term on the tribe's five-member Supreme Court bench. The Supreme Court interprets Cherokee Nation laws and decides child custody cases, Cherokee citizenship issues and other cases affecting the Cherokee people and tribe.

The Cherokee Nation Tribal Council approved Burris' appointment Nov. 13. He is the third Supreme Court appointment made by Prinicpal Chief Bill John Baker's administration. Burris earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Northeastern State University and his law degree from the University of Oklahoma. He has served as an attorney or judge for more than 45 years in county, federal and tribal courts. He was most recently a judge for the Cherokee Nation Administrative Appeals Board, where he presided over Tribal Employment Rights Office appeals. Burris has also served as an adjunct professor at Northeastern State University and is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and Cherokee County Bar Association.

"I am highly honored and excited to be a Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Justice," Burris said. "All I can say is that I'm going to do the best job I can and look forward to serving with the other justices on the Supreme Court."

Burris joins Supreme Court Justices John Garrett, Angela Jones, Troy Wayne Poteete and James Wilcoxen. He replaces former Chief Justice Darrell Dowty, a former assistant district attorney in Sequoyah County, whose term expired Dec. 31. The five Supreme Court justices will soon select a new chief justice. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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