CONSTITUTION OF THE WHITE MOUNTAIN APACHE TRIBE – FORT APACHE RESERVATION
Last amended: 1993
We, the people of the White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, Arizona, in order to form a more representative organization, to exercise the duties and responsibilities of a representative tribal government, to conserve and develop our tribal lands and resources for ourselves and our children, to provide a higher standard of living, better home life and better homes within the reservation, to extend to our people the right to form business and other organizations, do adopt this constitution as a guide to our self-government.
ARTICLE I – TERRITORY & JURISDICTION
Section 1. Territory. The authority of the white Mountain Apache Tribe, of Arizona, shall extend to all of the territory within the exterior boundaries of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation as established by the Act of Congress, June 7, 1897, and to such other lands as the United States may acquire for the benefit of the Tribe, or which the Tribe may acquire for itself. The territory of the White Mountain Apache Tribe shall include, to the fullest extent possible under Federal law, all lands, property, airspace, surface rights, subsurface rights, other natural resources and any interest therein, tenements hereditaments, all water rights and all accretions, which are either now or in the future owned by the Tribe or owned by the United States for the benefit of the Tribe or for individual tribal members, notwithstanding the issuance of any right-of-way.
Section 2. Jurisdiction. The White Mountain Apache Tribe shall have jurisdiction over all persons, subjects, property and all activities occurring within the boundaries of the reservation or on other lands within its territory as defined by this Article. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to limit the ability of the Tribe to exercise its jurisdiction within or without its territory based upon Federal law or upon its inherent sovereignty as an Indian Tribe.
ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1. Requirements. The membership of the White Mountain Apache Tribe shall consist of:
(a) All persons who were qualified for and were accepted into membership in the White Mountain Apache Tribe under the membership requirements as of the date of enactment of this constitution.
(b) All persons of one-half (1/2) degree or more Indian blood, of a federally recognized Indian tribe or tribes, Provided, That the person is at least one-fourth (1/4) degree White Mountain Apache blood.
Section 2. Enrollment Ordinance. The Council shall have the power to pass ordinances which are consistent with and pursuant to this constitution governing future membership, loss of membership, and all other necessary procedures of enrollment.
Section 3. Membership Roll. The membership roll of the White Mountain Apache Tribe shall be kept current by adding thereto the names of persons who qualify for membership and by deleting therefrom the names of persons who have relinquished in writing their membership in the Tribe. Upon receipt of death certificates of deceased members or other evidence of death satisfactory to the Tribal Council, the names of these deceased members shall be removed from the roll.
ARTICLE III – GOVERNING BODY
Section 1. Governing Body. The governing body of the White Mountain Apache Tribe shall be known as the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council and shall consist of a Chairman, Vice Chairman and nine members to be chosen as follows:
Chairman, by popular vote of the Tribe. 1
Vice-chairman, by popular vote of the Tribe 1
Two members, by popular vote of the Cibecue, Oak Creek and Grasshopper District 2
Two members, by popular vote of the Carrizo, Forestdale and Cedar Creek District. 2
Two members, by popular vote of Eastfork, Turkey Creek, and Seven Mile District. 2
Three members, by popular vote of the Canyon Day, Hondah-McNary and Whiteriver-Northfork District. 3
Section 2. Districts Defined. For purposes of voting and representation on the Council, the districts shall be defined as follows:
CIBECUE, OAK CREEK, AND GRASSHOPPER
Starting at the N.W. corner of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation follow the north boundary of said reservation along a meandering course for 25 miles in a generally easterly direction to Phoenix Park, thence approximately midway between Phoenix Park Canyon and Foot Canyon along the boundary fence between District I and District II six miles in a south south easterly direction to the thread of Carrizo Creek, thence across Carrizo Creek and along Cibecue Ridge approximately 23 miles in a south south easterly direction to the U.S. Highway 60 right-of-way line, thence along the U.S. Highway 60 right-of-way line 15 miles in a south westerly direction to the thread of the Salt River, thence along the thread of the Salt River 30 miles in a generally west south westerly direction to the S.W. corner of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation 11 miles N.N.W. to Sombrero Butte, thence continuing along the west reservation boundary line 32 miles in a northerly direction to the point of beginning at the northwest corner of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. This enclosed area contains 430,571 acres more or less.
CARRIZO, FORESTDALE, AND CEDAR CREEK
Starting at a point on the north boundary of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation approximately 1/4 mile north of the S.W. corner of Sec. 3 T. 10 N, R. 17 E. , Gila and Salt River Meridian, said point being at the boundary fence line between District I and District II, thence along the north boundary of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation approximately 50 miles in a generally E.S.E. direction to the approximate line between Sections 5 and 6 T.8N, R 23E, thence approximately 4 miles in a generally southerly direction along the boundary line fence between District II and District III to Amos Mt., thence approximately 6 1/2 miles S.S.E. to Little Round Top Mt., thence approximately 26 miles in a southwesterly direction across Round Top Mt. and Cane Butte to the thread of the Salt River (the present boundary fence between Districts II and III being followed all the way from Amos Mt.) thence approximately 34 miles along the thread of the Salt River in a generally W.N.W. direction to the right-of-way line of U.S. Highway 60, thence approximately 15 miles in a north-easterly direction along the right-of-way line to the fence line of the Carrizo Bull Pasture, thence approximately 23 miles in a north northwesterly direction across U.S. Highway 60 and following the boundary fence between Districts II and III along Cibecue Ridge to the thread of Carrizo Creek, thence approximately 6 miles in a north northwesterly direction across Carrizo Creek and continuing along the boundary fence line between Districts II and III. The enclosed area contains 460,208 acres more or less.
EAST FORK, TURKEY CREEK, AND SEVEN MILE
Starting at a point on Mt. Baldy, thence following the Fort Apache Indian Reservation boundary approximately 4 miles in an easterly direction, thence follow said reservation boundary approximately 17.7 miles S. to the thread of the Black River, thence follow the thread of the Black River approximately 39 miles in a generally southwesterly direction, thence following the thread of the Black River approximately 30 miles in a generally northwesterly direction to a point 2 miles down stream from the junction of Big Bonito Creek, thence approximately 22 miles in a generally northerly direction to a point approximately 1/2 mile S. of the village of Whiteriver, thence approximately 19 miles in an E.N.E. direction, crossing the White River and continuing to a point S. of Aspen Ridge, thence approximately l0 1/2 miles in a northerly direction across Aspen Ridge and continuing to a point near the Ryan Ranch, thence approximately 10 miles in a generally E.S.E. direction to the east boundary of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, thence approximately 6 miles in a generally S.S.W. direction to the point of the beginning on Mt. Baldy. This enclosed area contains 420,709 acres more or less.
CANYON DAY,, HONDAH-McNARY,, WHITERIVER,, AND NORTH FORK
Starting at a point on the north boundary of Fort Apache Indian Reservation and on the approximate line between Sections 5 and 6, T.8N, R. 23E, Gila and Salt River Meridian, thence following a meandering line along the north boundary of said reservation for approximately 19 miles in an easterly direction to a point approximately on the line between Sections 26 and 27, T.9N, R. 25E, thence continuing along the reservation boundary line approximately 18 miles in a southeasterly direction to a point in Sec. 30, T. 7N, R. 27E, thence along the boundary fence between Districts III and IV approximately 10 miles in a generally W.N.W. direction to a point near the Ryan Ranch, thence approximately 10 1/2 miles in a southerly direction across Aspen Ridge, thence approximately 19 miles in a W.S.W. direction crossing the White River and continuing to a point approximately 1/2 mile S. of the village of Whiteriver, thence approximately 22 miles in a generally southerly direction to the thread of the Black River (the boundary fence line between Districts III and IV being followed from the Ryan Ranch to the Black River except for stretches where steep bluffs make fencing unnecessary), thence approximately 48 miles in a northwesterly direction along the thread of the Black River to the junction of the White River and continuing approximately 2.2 miles along the thread of the Salt River, thence approximately 26 miles along the boundary fence between Districts II and III in a northeasterly direction crossing Cane Butte and Round Top Mt. and continuing to Little Round Top, thence approximately 6 1/2 miles N.N.W. to Big Mt., thence approximately 4 miles E.N.E. to Amos Mt., thence approximately 4 miles in a generally northerly direction to the point of beginning. This enclosed area contains 339,545 acres more or less.
Section 3. Representation. The Council may from time to time by ordinance change the foregoing number of representation according to the growth and movement of the population.
Section 4. Organization of Council. The Council shall choose, either from within or without its own membership or from non-members, a secretary, a treasurer, and such other officers as it may consider necessary.
Section 5. Terms of office. Tribal Council Members shall be elected for a term of four years or until a successor is chosen. The terms of office shall be staggered.
Section 6. Oath of Office. Members of the Council shall take office on the first Wednesday of the first month after their election.
Section 7. Council Chairman and Vice-Chairman. The Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Tribal Council shall be elected for a term of four years by popular vote of the Tribe or until a successor is chosen. Candidates for such office shall possess the qualifications required of candidates for Council membership, as set forth in Article XII, except as to residence. The candidates for Chairman and Vice-chairman need only be residents of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Such elections shall be held under the same rules as the election for Council Members and the chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Tribal Council shall take office on the same day that the Council Members take office.
ARTICLE IV – POWERS OF THE COUNCIL
Section 1. Powers of the Council. In addition to all powers vested in the White Mountain Apache Tribe through its inherent sovereignty or by existing law, the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council shall exercise the following powers, subject to any limitations imposed by this constitution:
(a) To represent the tribe and act in all matters that concern the welfare of the Tribe, and to make decisions not inconsistent with or contrary to this constitution.
(b) To negotiate, make and perform contracts and agreements of every description, not inconsistent with Federal law or this constitution, with any person, association, or corporation, with any municipality or any county, or with the State of Arizona or the United States, including agreements with the State of Arizona for rendition of public services.
(c) To advise the Secretary of the Interior on all activities that may affect the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, and on all appropriation estimates and Federal projects for the benefit of the Tribe before such estimates and projects are submitted to the Office of Management and Budget and to Congress.
(d) To employ legal counsel, the choice of counsel and fixing of fees to be subject to the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, so long as such approval is required by Federal law.
(e) To veto the sale, disposition, lease or encumbrance of tribal lands, interests in lands, tribal funds or other tribal assets that may be authorized by any agency or employee of the Government.
(f) To protect and preserve the wildlife, plant life, forests, natural resources and water rights of the Tribe, and to regulate hunting and fishing on the reservation.
(g) To cultivate Indian arts, crafts and cultures.
(h) To regulate the uses and disposition of tribal property.
(i) To manage all economic affairs and enterprises of the Tribe including tribal lands, timber, sawmills, flour mills, community stores, and any other tribal activities.
(j) To accept grants and donations from any person, State or the United States.
(k) To appropriate tribal funds for tribal purposes and to expend such funds in accordance with an annual budget.
(l) To borrow money from any source and pledge or assign chattels or future tribal income as security therefor.
(m) To provide by ordinance for the assignment, use, or transfer of tribal lands within the reservation.
(n) To enact ordinances in accordance with applicable law covering the granting of both surface and subsurface leases for such periods as are permitted by law.
(o) To levy and collect taxes and to impose license fees.
(p) To enact ordinances to provide for the adoption of minor children.
(q) To enact ordinances establishing and governing tribal courts and law enforcement on the reservation, regulating domestic relations of persons within the jurisdiction of the Tribe, providing for appointment of guardians for minors and mental incompetents, regulating the inheritance of real and personal property of persons within the jurisdiction of the Tribe, and providing for the removal or exclusion from the reservation of any non-member of the Tribe whose presence may be injurious to the people or property of the reservation.
(r) To enact ordinances governing the activities of voluntary associations organized for purposes of cooperation or other purposes.
(s) To regulate its own procedures, to appoint subordinate committees, commissions, boards, advisory or otherwise, tribal officials and employees not otherwise provided for in this constitution, and to regulate subordinate organizations for economic and other purposes.
(t) The Tribal Council of the White Mountain Apache Tribe may exercise such further powers as may be delegated to the Council by members of the Tribe or which is vested in the Tribe through its inherent sovereignty or by Federal law.
(u) The foregoing enumeration of powers are in addition to, and not a limit to, the inherent sovereign powers of the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
ARTICLE V – RIGHTS OF MEMBERS
All members of the White Mountain Apache Indian Tribe shall be accorded equal political rights and equal opportunities to participate in the economic resources and activities of the Tribe, and no person shall be denied freedom of conscience, speech, association or assembly, or the right to petition for the redress of grievances.
ARTICLE VI – ELECTIONS
Section 1. Regular Elections. Regular elections for Council Members shall be held every two years on the first Wednesday in April. Regular elections for Chairman and Vice-Chairman shall be held every four years on the same day noted above for Council Members.
Section 2. Notice. All elections shall be announced by special notice posted at least fifteen days before the election at the voting places and other convenient public places.
Section 3. Eligibility. Any -enrolled member of the Tribe eighteen years of age or older shall have the right to vote.
Section 4. Voting places. The voting places shall be:
Whiteriver-North Fork Alchesay Hall
East Fork Community Building
Seven Mile Community Building
Canyon Day Community Building
Carrizo Community Building
McNary Council Office
Cibecue Cottonwood Gym
Cedar Creek Community Building
and others as may be established by the Council.
Section 5. Nomination of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Any resident member of the Tribe whose name is presented at least fifteen days before the election to the Secretary or to the Chairman, or in his absence, to the Vice-Chairman of the Council, by petition signed by at least five percent of the resident voters of the age of not less than eighteen years shall be declared by the Council to be regularly nominated and to be a candidate for the office of Chairman or Vice-Chairman as indicated in such petition. It shall be the duty of the Tribal Council secretary to post the names of all qualified candidates at least ten days prior to the election.
Section 6. Nomination of Council Members. Any member of the Tribe who is a resident of the district from which he desires to be nominated, whose name is presented at least fifteen days before the election, to the Tribal Council secretary or to the Chairman, or in his absence, to the Vice-chairman of the Council, by petition signed by at least five percent of the resident voters of the district, of the age of not less than eighteen years, shall be declared by the Council to be regularly nominated as a Council member and to be a candidate for the office of a Council member as indicated in such petition. It shall be the duty of the Tribal Council secretary to post the names of all qualified candidates in a public place at least ten days prior to the election.
Section 7. Signing of Nomination Paper. Each signer of a nomination paper shall sign but one paper for the same office unless more than one candidate is to be elected to such office, and in that case, not more than the number of nomination papers equal to the number of candidates to be elected to the office. Signatures of persons in violation of this section shall be disregarded in determining the regularity of a nomination.
Section 8. Election Requirements. All elections shall be by secret written ballot. The Council shall have power to prescribe ordinances governing the conduct of referendums and elections. Such ordinances shall prescribe the duties of the election board, procedures for casting and canvassing resident and non-resident ballots, method for challenging right to vote, conduct and results of elections, and settlement of any election disputes.
ARTICLE VII – REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Section 1. Forfeiture or Resignation of office. If a Chairman or Vice-Chairman or any member of the Council resigns, fails or refuses to attend two regular meetings in succession unless excused due to illness or other causes for which he or she cannot be held responsible, or shall be convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving moral integrity, or has been found guilty of public intoxication, or is guilty of consuming any alcoholic beverages while attending a meeting of the Council in session, or during any daytime recess period, the Council shall declare his or her position vacant.
Section 2. Vacancies. Any vacancies on the Council or any vacancy in the office of Vice-Chairman resulting from the application of the section immediately preceding shall be filled at once by a majority vote of the Council. A vacancy in the office of Chairman shall be filled by the Vice-Chairman. Persons so appointed shall serve the unexpired term of the office or member.
ARTICLE VIII REFERENDUM
Upon a petition of at least twenty percent of the eligible voters of the Tribe, or upon the request of the majority of the members of the Tribal Council, any enacted or proposed ordinance or resolution of the Tribal Council shall be submitted to popular referendum at a special election called by the Council and the vote of the majority of the qualified voters in such referendum shall decide whether the ordinance or resolution shall thereafter be in effect, Provided, That thirty percent or more of the eligible voters shall vote in such referendum.
ARTICLE IX – RESERVATION LAND
The reservation land now unallotted shall remain tribal property and shall not be allotted to individuals in severalty, but assignments of land for private use may be made by the Council in conformity with ordinances which may be adopted on this subject.
ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS
Section 1. Requirements. This constitution may be amended by a majority vote of the qualified voters of the Tribe voting at an election called for that purpose by the Secretary of the Interior, Provided, That at least thirty percent of those entitled to vote shall vote in such election, but no amendment shall become effective until it shall have been approved by the Secretary of the Interior or by operation of law.
Section 2. Requests for Secretarial Election. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Interior to call an election on any proposed amendment at the request of the Council, or upon receipt of a petition signed by at least thirty percent of the qualified voters of the Tribe.
ARTICLE XI – DUTIES OF OFFICES
Section 1. Chairman of the Council. The Chairman of the Council shall preside over all meetings of the Council, shall perform all duties of a Chairman and exercise any authority given him specifically by the Council or by a general meeting of the Tribe. The Chairman shall have power to vote.
Section 2. Vice-Chairman. In the absence of the regular Chairman, the Vice-Chairman shall preside and shall have all powers, privileges, and duties of the Chairman. He shall succeed to the office of Chairman in the event of the Chairman’s death, resignation or forfeiture of office. He shall have power to vote at any meeting.
Section 3. Secretary. The secretary shall conduct all Tribal Council correspondence and keep and maintain copies of minutes of all Council meetings.
Section 4. Treasurer. (a) The treasurer shall accept, receipt for, keep and safeguard all funds in the custody of the Council. The treasurer shall deposit all such funds as directed by the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council and shall keep an accurate record of such funds and shall report on all receipts and expenditures and the amount and nature of all funds in his or her custody to the Council at regular meetings and at such other times as requested by the Council. The treasurer shall not pay or otherwise disburse any funds in the custody of the Council except when properly authorized to do so by the Council.
(b) The books and records of the treasurer shall be audited at least once a year by a competent auditor employed by the Council and at such other times as the Council may direct.
(c) The treasurer shall be required to give a surety bond to be approved by the Council.
(d) All checks shall be signed by the treasurer and shall be countersigned by the Chairman of the Council, or in his absence, by some other officer designated by the Council.
ARTICLE XII – QUALIFICATIONS OF COUNCIL MEMBERS
Section 1. Qualifications. Any member of the Tribe who has reached the age of twenty-five years, and who can speak Apache, and who is a resident of the district which he or she is to represent, or who operates cattle within the said district or who has farm land assigned to him or her in said district, shall be qualified to be a candidate for election to the Council. No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be eligible to hold office in the Council. No person who within the past year preceding the election has been convicted of a crime involving moral integrity, shall be eligible to hold office in the Council. The following crimes, and no others, shall be considered crimes involving moral integrity: adultery, bribery, embezzlement, extortion, fraud, forgery, misbranding, perjury, theft or public intoxication.
Section 2. No Federal Employees No person shall become a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council, or serve on any Board of Directors of any tribal enterprise or cattle association, or on any other committee, commission or board which is under the jurisdiction of the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council, if employed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs or by any other Federal agency.
Section 3. No Tribal Employees No person shall become a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribal Council if employed by the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
ARTICLE XIII – MEETINGS OF THE COUNCIL
Section 1. First Meeting. At the first meeting of the Council after a regular election, the Council shall see that all members have a correct and clear understanding of the constitution and the management of the tribal and reservation affairs, as well as the rules for the conduct of their own body.
Section 2. Regular Meetings. The Council shall hold its regular meeting on the first Wednesday in each month at nine o’clock a.m., unless for some reason the Chairman shall issue notice that the meeting will be held on another date and time.
Section 3. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Council may be called by the Chairman, or the Chairman shall call a special meeting upon written request of three or more members of the Council.
Section 4. Conduct of Business. In the conduct of business, recognized rules of order shall be chosen and made applicable. Voting at the Council meeting may be by voice, but at the discretion of the Chairman or upon the request of any two members of the Council a secret vote shall be taken.
Section 5. Order of Business. The order of business at any regular or special meeting of the Tribal Council shall be as follows:
(a) Call to order by the Chairman.
(b) Roll Call.
(c) Reading of minutes of last meeting.
(d) Unfinished business.
(f) New Business.
Section 6. Quorum. Matters of business for the Council shall be decided by a majority vote. A quorum of the Council shall be constituted if six or more members are present.
Section 7. Restriction of Voting in the Council. In any matter coming before the Council which involves any person or company, no member of the Council that may be permanently connected with the party so involved shall be permitted to vote without the special consent of the remaining members of the Council.
Section 8. Salaries and Expenses. The Tribal Council shall prescribe such salaries and expenses for officers or members of the Council as it deems advisable.
ARTICLE XIV – MEETINGS OF THE TRIBE
The Council shall from time to time call meetings of all voters of the Tribe to lay before them such matters as may come before such a general meeting. A general meeting of the Tribe shall be called upon request of a majority of the qualified voters of any district.
ARTICLE XV – ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
Section 1. Ordinances and Resolutions. Every ordinance shall begin with the words, “Be it enacted by the Council of the White Mountain Apache Tribe.” Every resolution shall begin with the words, “Be it resolved by the Council of the White Mountain Apache Tribe.” All resolutions and ordinances should be signed by the Chairman or acting Chairman and attested-to by the Tribal council secretary.
Section 2. Notice of Proposed Ordinances. All proposed ordinances of the Council shall be posted in each district at least ten days before final action by the Council.
Section 3. Public Inspection of Ordinances. All ordinances shall be recorded in a binder and shall be open to public inspection.
Section 4. Public Inspection of Resolutions. All resolutions shall be recorded in a binder which shall be open to public inspection.
Section 5. Majority Vote. All questions of procedure shall be decided by motion of the Council or by a ruling of the Chairman if no objection is heard. In all ordinances, resolutions, or motions, the Council shall act by majority vote.
ARTICLE XVI – FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
The Council shall request the Superintendent to furnish it with the names of all civil service probationers or temporary employees under civil service regulations on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation who are nearing the end of their probationary periods, and shall advise with the Superintendent in the matter of their being given permanent positions as civil service employees on the reservation.
ARTICLE XVII – SAVINGS CLAUSE
All enactments of the Tribe adopted before the effective date of this constitution shall continue in effect to the extent that they are consistent with this constitution, unless such enactments are revoked or amended.
ARTICLE XVIII – ADOPTION
This constitution, when adopted by a majority vote of the registered voters of the White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, voting at a special election authorized by the Secretary of the Interior in which at least thirty percent (30%) of those entitled to vote shall vote, shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Interior for his approval, and if approved by the Secretary of the Interior or by operation of law, shall be effective from the date of such approval.
CERTIFICATION OF ADOPTION
Pursuant to a Secretarial election authorized by the Deputy Commissioner of Indian Affairs on July 15, 1993, the Constitution of the White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona, was submitted to the qualified voters of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, and on September 30, 1993, was duly adopted/rejected by a vote of 827 (number) for, and 531 (number) against, and 0 (number) cast ballots found separated or mutilated, in an election in which at least thirty (30) percent of the 2,450 number) entitled to vote cast their ballots in accordance with Section 16 of the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984), as amended.
A P P R O V A L
I, Ada E. Deer, Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, by virtue of the authority granted to the Secretary of the Interior by the Act of June 18, 1934 (48 Stat. 984), as amended, and delegated to me by 230 D.M. 2.4, do hereby approve the Constitution of the White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona. This Constitution is effective as of this date, Provided, That nothing in this approval shall be construed as authorizing any action under this document that would be contrary to Federal law.