Nevada Supreme Court

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Nevada Supreme Court
Court information
Justices:   7
Founded:   1864
Location:   Carson City, Nevada
Chief:  $170,000
Associates:  $170,000
Judicial selection
Method:   Nonpartisan election of judges
Term:   6 years
Active justices

Kris Pickering  •  Mark Gibbons  •  Ron Parraguirre  •  James Hardesty  •  Michael Cherry (Nevada)  •  Michael Douglas  •  Nancy Saitta  •  

Seal of Nevada.png

The Supreme Court of Nevada is the court of last resort in the state of Nevada. The court hears cases in Carson City and Las Vegas.[1] Learn more about potential changes to the court by clicking here to jump down to the History section.


The current justices of the court are:
JudgeTermSelected by
Justice Kris Pickering2008-2021
Chief justice Mark Gibbons2002-2021
Justice Ron Parraguirre2004-2016
Justice James Hardesty2005-2016
Justice Michael Cherry (Nevada)2006-2019
Justice Michael Douglas2004-2019Gov. Kenny Guinn
Justice Nancy Saitta2006-2019

Judicial selection

Justices are elected to six-year terms in nonpartisan elections. In the case of a vacancy, the responsibility goes to the governor to fill by appointment.[1]


To be a qualified to run for the supreme court, a candidate must be a resident of the state for at least two years prior to the election, at least 25 years old at the time of the election, and licensed and admitted to practice law in either Nevada or any other state in the United States for at least 15 years. Two of these years must have been spent practicing in Nevada. To file with the secretary of state to become an official candidate to the Supreme Court of Nevada, a candidate must pay a fee of $300.[2]

Chief justice

The chief justice is chosen according to seniority, and terms are two years. In the case of two eligible justices, the chief justices is determined by lot.[1]

Past chief justices


The state's intermediate appellate court was created by a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment that was approved by voters in the election on November 4, 2014. The new court's start date was set for January 1, 2015.[5]

All appeals will still be filed with the state supreme court, which will then be allowed to assign certain cases to the intermediate court. The intermediate court will operate in already existing space in the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas, in an attempt to decrease costs.[6]


Fiscal Year Filings Dispositions
2014 2,481 2,372
2013 2,333 2,373
2012 2,500 2,270
2011 2,395 2,220
2010 2,266 2,419
2009 2,152 2,167
2008 2,238 1,959
2007 2,132 2,193


Political outlook

See also: Political outlook of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan outlook of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 were more liberal. The state Supreme Court of Nevada was given a campaign finance score (CFscore) which was calculated for judges in October 2012. At that time, Nevada received a score of -0.22. Based on the justices selected, Nevada was the 19th most liberal court. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice but rather, an academic gauge of various factors.[9]


Financial disclosure

See also: Center for Public Integrity Study on State Supreme Court Disclosure Requirements

In December 2013, the Center for Public Integrity released a study on disclosure requirements for state supreme court judges. Analysts from the Center reviewed the rules governing financial disclosure in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as personal financial disclosures for the past three years. The study found that 42 states and Washington D.C. received failing grades. Nevada earned a grade of F in the study. No state received a grade higher than "C". Furthermore, due in part to these lax disclosure standards, the study found 35 instances of questionable gifts, investments overlapping with caseloads and similar potential ethical quandaries. The study also noted 14 cases in which justices participated although they or their spouses held stock in the company involved in the litigation.[10]


Nevada Supreme Courthouse

The first justices of the Nevada Supreme Court were appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to the Territorial Supreme Court in 1861. Three years later, when Nevada became a state, the constitution called for three justices to be elected to six-year terms. The number of justices on the court was increased twice over time, once in 1967 from three to five justices, and again in 1997 to seven.[11]

The size of the court is slated to shrink from seven justices to five in 2019 because of a little-known provision in the 1997 judicial reorganization law. Voters approved a ballot measure in November 2014 authorizing the creation of an intermediate appellate court. According to the 1997 law, the Nevada Supreme Court must decrease membership from seven to five once an amendment authorizing an intermediate court is approved. This law also notes that the two most recently created seats will be eliminated after officeholders in those seats complete their current terms. Michael Douglas and Nancy Saitta currently hold those seats and their terms end in January 2019. The Nevada State Legislature would need to amend the 1997 law to maintain the current number of seats.[12][13]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Nevada Supreme Court."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Nevada Supreme Court - Google News Feed

  • Loading...

See also

External links



Unopposed  Judge Kris Pickering (Seat B)
Unopposed  Judge Mark Gibbons (Seat D)


See also: 2010 State Supreme Court elections

James Hardesty was uncontested in his bid to retain his seat.

Nevada Supreme Court
2010 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
James Hardesty Green check mark transparent.png n/a n/a

Ron Parraguirre was uncontested in his bid to retain his seat.

Nevada Supreme Court
2010 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Ron Parraguirre Green check mark transparent.png n/a n/a


See also: State Supreme Court elections, 2008

Incumbent Mark Gibbons defeated challenger Thomas Christensen.

Nevada Supreme Court
2008 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Mark Gibbons Green check mark transparent.png n/a 55%
Thomas Christensen n/a 25%

Deborah Schumacher and Mary Pickering competed to fill the vacancy left by retiring judge A. William Maupin. Pickering succeeded with 42% of the vote.

Nevada Supreme Court
2008 General election results
Candidates Votes Percent
Mary Pickering Green check mark transparent.png n/a 42%
Deborah Schumacher n/a 39%
NevadaNevada Supreme CourtNevada District CourtsNevada Justice CourtsNevada Municipal CourtsClark County Family Court, NevadaUnited States District Court for the District of NevadaUnited States bankruptcy court, District of NevadaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitNevada countiesNevada judicial newsNevada judicial electionsJudicial selection in NevadaNevadaTemplate.jpg