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Measure Details

Judicial Appointment Amendment

Nevada Ballot Measure - Question No. 1

Election: Nov. 2, 2010 (General)
Outcome: Failed

Categories:
Government Operations
Judicial Branch

Yes
285,746
(42.26%)

Argument For

No
390,370
(57.74%)

Argument Against

Summary

    Currently, the Nevada Constitution provides for the election of Supreme Court justices and District Court judges in Nevada to 6-year terms. When a vacancy occurs between elections, the Governor appoints a justice or judge from a list of candidates recommended by the Commission on Judicial Selection. The Commission consists of the Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court and equal numbers of attorneys and non-attorneys.

    The proposed amendment to the Nevada Constitution would provide for the initial appointment of all Supreme Court justices and District Court judges through the same process currently used to fill midterm vacancies. When any vacancy occurs, the Commission on Judicial Selection would nominate a list of candidates based on their experience and qualifications, and provide the nominees' names to the Governor and the public. The Governor would then appoint one of the nominees. After being appointed by the Governor, justices and judges will initially serve terms that expire in January following the next general election which occurs at least 12 months after appointment.

    Justices and judges seeking another term would be evaluated based on their record by the newly created Commission on Judicial Performance, which would consist of the Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court and equal numbers of attorneys and non-attorneys. A summary of the Commission's evaluation would be made available to the public at least 6 weeks before the general election. The names of all justices and judges seeking another term would appear on the ballot, and voters would decide whether justices and judges should serve another term. Justices and judges need 55 percent of the vote to be retained. If retained by the voters, a justice or judge will serve a 6-year term and will be subject to another evaluation and election at the end of each subsequent 6-year term if he or she wishes to serve another term. If a justice or judge does not declare his or her candidacy or receives less than 55 percent of the votes cast at the election, the vacancy is again filled through the appointment process.

    This question also increases the number of members on the Commission on Judicial Selection by adding an additional attorney and a non-attorney and provides for the membership of the new Commission on Judicial Performance.

    A "Yes" vote would amend the language in the Nevada Constitution to allow for the appointment of Supreme Court justices and District Court judges by the Governor for their initial terms from lists of candidates nominated by the Commission on Judicial Selection, with subsequent retention of those justices and judges after independent performance evaluations by the Commission on Judicial Performance and voter approval.

    A "No" vote vote would retain the existing language in the Nevada Constitution that Supreme Court justices and District Court judges in Nevada must be elected except for those who are first appointed to fill vacancies and then stand for election.

    Measure Text

    Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to provide for the appointment of Supreme Court justices and District Court judges by the Governor for their initial terms from lists of candidates nominated by the Commission on Judicial Selection, with subsequent retention of those justices and judges after independent performance evaluations and voter approval?

    Yes [ ] No [ ]

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