Clark County and Nevada Ballot Questions

Question #1: 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?

A lot of conservatives are supporting this one, and I completely see their point: voters tend to put stupid people in office.  Case in point: Elizabeth Halverson.  Having judges temporarily appointed would solve that. 

But here’s why I oppose it.  First, just because the people are not doing their research and getting involved is no reason to take away their authority to choose their judges.  We should never, ever give away any of our autonomy.  Agreeing with the mindset that elites should take care of us can only lead to tyranny. 

Second, though there are areas in American politics where some leaders are chosen for us by other leaders (and before the seventeenth amendment, there used to be more), in those cases the latter were elected with the understanding that they would choose the former.  Such would not be the case here, where a committee of lawyers and other yahoos would have that power, but would not be picked by us for that purpose. 

Third, how does this guarantee there won’t be incompetence or corruption?  Unless this new selection committee is headed by Elliott Ness, they’ll be susceptible to mistakes and worse. 

No, Nevada, do not give up your power to choose your judges.

Vote: NO

Question #2: Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to allow for the establishment of an intermediate appellate court, that would have jurisdiction over appeals of certain civil and criminal cases arising from the district courts?

Yes, the Nevada Supreme Court is very busy, but spending more money and expanding government is not the answer.  This would cause longer delays for those seeking justice, and it would only encourage more frivolous lawsuits.  So most other states have such appellate courts.  So what?  Being different from other states is what made us so successful.  Let’s not follow the lemmings over the cliff. 

Vote: NO

Question #3: Shall the Sales and Use Tax Act of 1955 be amended to authorize the Legislature to amend or repeal any provision of this Act only if necessary to resolve a conflict with any federal law or interstate agreement for the administration, collection, or enforcement of sales and use taxes?

Oh boy!  You mean the government can have more power to tax me without me having any say-so in the matter?  Great!  Where do I sign? 

(And for those of you ungifted in my area of specialty, that was sarcasm.)

Vote: NO

Question #4: Shall Article 1, Section 22 of the Nevada Constitution be repealed and shall Article 1, Section 8 of the Nevada Constitution be amended to revise provisions relating to eminent domain proceedings?

Repeal PISTOL?  No way.  Not after the voters worked so hard to get this passed in the first place.  PISTOL, in case you didn’t know, is what protects Nevada citizens from the insane government-seizure-of-private-property-on-a-whim effects of the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision, possibly the worst thing they’ve done in a generation.  At any rate, I wonder who wrote and pushed for this question.  I’m willing to bet it wasn’t a grassroots group, unless big government lobbyists can be considered grassroots, now. 

Vote: NO

Question #5: This question is advisory only. Shall the consent of the governing body of the local government be required before the State Legislature can act to decrease revenues or reserves collected by, distributed to, or held by the local government, or impose fees on or mandate new or different services be performed by the local government?

For some real fun, read the argument against this one in the sample ballot.  It invokes a metaphor of a parent-child relationship between state government and local governments.  Wow.  This reminds me of last March when Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman used the same metaphor to explain his treatment of local unions.  That was one of the few times I’ve really been disappointed in him. 

So, no, whoever wrote that argument.  The state is NOT like a parent who gets to do with funding whatever they wish, to the exclusion of the needs of the pitiful, pathetic, local government peons you disdain with such arrogance.  You absolutely DO need to work with us, instead of just taking back our allowance and making us stand in the corner to think about what we’ve done.

Vote: YES

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4 comments on “Clark County and Nevada Ballot Questions

  1. Jamie,

    I was waiting for your views!! I think I’m going to be saying no on all of them this year but five did give me pause. I see your argument. My parents feel the same as you. I just think balancing the budget is important and from how I read it, there’s no way that will happen with FIVE. None of the local govts will be willing to ever give up their money, even if they don’t need it. So its just going to cause stalling and more problems. I could be wrong, but that’s how I see it. And my hub was thinking about saying yes on one. He couldn’t decide, so we appreciated your thoughts. Yes sometimes we don’t have much choices or don’t know much about some of the candidates, but it’s still important we have the choice to vote for them.. So that will be a no for us.

  2. Specifically, question #5: I would think the relationship should be reversed. We as the financial supporter of the state government would be the parent, and the state, who receives what money we allow should be the child. And today, in the true to form child role, the state government is whining it does not have enough money.

  3. As a former high school classmate of the author of this blog, who is now in law school, I must disagree with your choice on Question #2. We do need an intermediate appeallate court for a couple reasons. In Nevada there is almost no caselaw so lawyers often have no clue how a case might turn out and instead the trial court judge is given carte blanche to make whatever decision they choose based on personal opinion. With more caselaw created by a panel of judges the trial court judges would have more guidance in decisions and decisions across jurisdictions would be more universal.
    Second, the lack of an appellate courts means that fewer people who deserve it will get their appeals heard. The Nevada Supreme Court can choose whether or not to hear any case. The more cases on the docket means it is more likely they will choose not to hear someone’s case who deserves to have the judgment overturned simply because the court is too busy. Intermediate appellate courts will allow more people to get their appeals heard.

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