Nevada Judicial Appointment Amendment, Question 1 (2010)

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The Nevada Judicial Appointment Amendment, Question 1 is on the November 2, 2010 ballot in Nevada as an legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.[1]

The measure calls for the creation of a selection panel that would review and recommend candidates to the governor for appointment to open judicial seats. The governor would then be in charge of appointing a candidate to the position for no more than 2 years after which a retention election would be held. They would have to garner approximately 55% of the vote to stay in office. If the judge is retained they can proceed to fulfill the remainder of the 6 year term and face a retention election for a second term. If the voters reject the judge in the first election, the process starts from the beginning and another candidate is appointed.[2][3]

Text of measure


According to the Nevada Secretary of State's office, the ballot question reads as follows:[4]

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?


Amendment supporters argue that the appointment process would result in more qualified judges and remove the influence of campaign money. Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor sent Nevada officials a letter in support of the proposal. She wrote, “Citizens can be confident that appointed judges are insulated from special interests who would seek to buy justice through campaign donations.”[2][5]

The proposed measure was co-authored by The Busick Group in 2006 with the direction of Sen. William Raggio.[6] Also in support of the proposed measure is retired Nevada Supreme Court Justice Bill Maupin.[7]

Irwin Molasky of Nevadans for Qualified Judges, a committee in support of the proposed measure argues that the proposed measure will give the public more control in eliminating inadequate judges. "Arizona has had it for years. Nevada is way behind. This is our one-chance opportunity," said Molasky.[7]

Tactics and strategies

In September 2010, supporters announced that they planned to step up their campaign efforts. Vice Chairman of Nevadans for Qualified Judges Irwin Molasky said that they plan to educate voters on the proposed plan.[8]


Opponents, on the other hand, said that the amendment removes voting rights and places the decision only in the hands of a few - the selection panel.[2] “I’m against anything that alters the voters’ rights to pick judges. Judges should be held as accountable as any other public official,” said Republican political consultant Sig Rogich. The Nevada Eagle Forum also opposes the change.[9]


See also: Polls, 2010 ballot measures

     Position is ahead and at or over 50%     Position is ahead or tied, but under 50%

  • On April 5-7, 2010 Mason-Dixon Polling & Research conducted a poll, on behalf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which found that 28% of polled registered voters were in favor of the proposed amendment, while 59% were opposed and 13% were undecided. A grand total of 625 registered voters were polled. The margin of error was +/- 4%.[10]
  • On July 12-14, 2010 Mason-Dixon Polling & Research conducted a poll, on behalf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and KLAS-TV, Channel 8. The poll found that 27% of voters were in favor of the proposed measure, while 54% were opposed and 19% were undecided. A total of 625 voters were polled. According to reports, the margin of error was +/- 5%.[11][12]
Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided Number polled
April 5-7, 2010 Mason-Dixon Polling & Research 28% 59% 13% 625
July 12-14, 2010 Mason-Dixon Polling & Research 27% 54% 19% 625
Oct. 25-27, 2010 Mason-Dixon Polling & Research 37% 46% 17% 625

Path to the ballot

See also: Nevada legislatively-referred constitutional amendments

A majority vote was required in two successive sessions of the Nevada State Legislature. The proposed measure was approved by the state legislature in 2007 and 2009. In 2009, the Nevada Senate approved the legislation on March 25 after a 14-7 vote. The Nevada State Assembly voted 29-13 on May 20, 2009.[13]

See also

Suggest a link


External links

Additional reading