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State of Nevada

Judicial Selection in the States: Nevada

Overview

News

The Oklahoma Senate yesterday approved its version of HB 3162, a constitutional amendment that would restructure the way appellate judges are chosen in the state...

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A plan to place the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) under the state s Open Meeting Act was rejected by the House 44-41 this afternoon....

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I mentioned last month a plan in the Rhode Island House that would require the state s Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) name at least one...

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Courtesy of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of...

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The Nevada judiciary consists of a supreme court, a district court, justices' courts, and municipal courts. The supreme court has mandatory appellate jurisdiction, and the district court is the trial court of general jurisdiction. Judges are chosen in nonpartisan elections. An unusual feature of Nevada's judicial elections is that voters are given a "none of the above" option. In a 2002 supreme court race, nearly 78,000 voters marked "none of these candidates."

In 1996, voters rejected by a 70-30 margin a constitutional initiative that would have imposed term limits on Nevada judges. Under the proposal, judges could not be elected to the same court more than twice, or more than once if the judge had previously served on that court. Voters had approved the proposed amendment by the same 70-30 margin in 1994, but in the intervening two years, lawyers, judges, and concerned citizens mobilized to conduct a public education campaign in opposition to the measure. (In Nevada, constitutional amendments proposed by initiative petition must be approved by the voters in two consecutive general elections.)

In 2007 and 2009, the legislature approved a proposed constitutional amendment calling for merit selection of Nevada judges. The proposal differed from the traditional Missouri Plan in two ways: retention election candidates would need 55% of the vote to remain in office, and a performance evaluation commission would review judges' records and issue a public report before they stood for retention. The proposed amendment was submitted to voters in 2010 but was rejected by a 58-42 margin. Voters rejected similar proposals in 1972 and 1988.