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Nevada Supreme Court considering conflicts of part-time legislature, full-time jobs – Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas, Nevada 2021-09-10 13:10:21 –

Las Vegas – The Nevada Supreme Court considers annoying issues with part-time legislatures meeting every two years, with many members in full-time positions other than elected positions.

More than an hour of oral argument in a case focused on prosecuting Melanie Scheible, Deputy District Attorney for Clark County, who is also a Democratic senator and announced on Thursday that she will run for reelection in 2022. After that, the judge did not make an immediate decision.

The High Court has decided to revoke the conviction of two Henderson residents convicted of drunk driving, citing the dual role of Scheble by former Judge Richard Scotty of the Clark County District Court last year. You are asked to overturn.

Scotty called “the basis of US jurisdiction that criminal defendants must not be prosecuted by anyone who is also a Nevada lawmaker and law enforcement officer.”

The Nevada Constitution prohibits you from serving two elected positions or multiple government agencies at the same time.

Through the question, the High Court said that Judge Douglas Herndon “is tasked with enforcing the very law chosen by the elected legislature representatives to enact. He admitted that he called it “a great deal of distrust.”

“This is a problem that needs to be resolved,” agreed with lawyer Craig Mueller, who said client Scotty had been denied due process.

However, Supreme Court Judge James Hardesty and others in the seven courts raised procedural questions about being asked to decide constitutional questions based on Mueller’s submissions and criminal appeals.

Hardesty said he was worried that Scheible was not a party to the proceedings on her position. The ruling could probably have widespread implications. And the issue of “double service” was not filed in a lower court.

“No record provides guidance on issues that should be procedurally properly developed,” said Hadesti. “As I can see, that didn’t happen in front of Judge Scotty.”

The subject of the dual role is also the focus of another proceeding by the Nevada Policy Institute, a conservative think tank.

Nine civil servants, including the top two Democrats in the state legislature (Senator majority leader Nicole Canizaro and chairman Jason Frierson), argue that they cannot hold public office and elected positions at the same time. There is. Cannizzaro is a prosecutor in Clark County. Freeson is a deputy public defender.

Mueller said Cannizzaro and Scheible are Democratic leaders who have enacted several criminal justices in parliament this year.

Alexander Chen, deputy district attorney for Clark County, told judges that thousands of criminal cases could be affected by court decisions. He argued that the roles of lawmakers in Carson City and Las Vegas courts were separate.

“Today, it is the state’s hope that the court will clearly rule that acting as a district attorney does not violate the Separation of Powers clause of the Nevada Constitution,” Chen said.

Deborah Westbrook, a lawyer and court friend representing Nevada’s lawyer for public defender and criminal justice, said the “plain language” of the state constitution separated the legislative, executive, and judicial divisions of the government. I pointed out that.

“It prohibits anyone in charge of exercising authority that properly belongs to one of the three departments … from exercising functions related to other departments,” she said.

Westbrook said that allowing state legislators to prosecute state law violations was an attempt by the Constitution to prevent, “as Judge Herndon pointed out, it went to our government and the criminal justice system. It undermines the trust of the government. “

Hardesty asked Westbrook if the same rules would apply to public defenders serving in the state legislature.

“We do not represent the state,” the lawyer replied.

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