(Janine Hansen) – Do you want the political “Powers that Be” to take away your right to vote on Judges and instead make them appointed by an elite Commission? Question 1 on the statewide ballot does just that. It takes away the right of the people to vote for our Supreme Court and District judges. This will insulate judges from the people and make them more unaccountable than ever before.
We have seen the judicial abuses by the unelected and unaccountable federal judiciary as they have overturned the will of the people in California throwing out the initiative to keep marriage between and man and a woman, taken away the right of the people to display the Ten Commandments, ruled against the Pledge of Allegiance and given us Roe v Wade allowing abortion for all nine months.
In Massachusetts the unelected judges forced same-sex marriage on the people and the Legislature, and in New Jersey they forced civil unions. The elitist who will be members of the Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection will give the Governor a short list of the “chosen” from which he has to choose.
There is no doubt that appointed judges will be “politically correct”, will tow the line of the “Powers that Be”, and will safeguard the judicial strangle hold of the privileged and the influential…to heck with the will of the people.
One of the arguments for Question 1 is that the people are too darn dumb and uniformed to make good decisions when electing judges. Of course, we all know the elitist know what’s best for us…
Thomas Jefferson had the remedy in case the people may not have all the information they need, “The exemption of the judges from that [from election} is quite dangerous enough. I know no safe depository of ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them [the people] not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it [control] from them, but to inform their discretion by education.”
In 2003, when the Nevada Supreme Court overstepped their bounds and forced the Legislature to pass the largest tax increase in Nevada history…the people understood very well the blatant abuse of power by the court. After that violation of trust, the makeup of the court changed significantly. That change on the court would never have happened if the Supreme Court had been selected by the elitists who favored the huge tax increase.
As in the case of the abuses of the Nevada Supreme Court, when they forced the Legislature to raise taxes, shows the people are smart enough to figure out when real judicial abuses or corruption take place.
Senator Raggio, the oft time State Senate Majority/Minority leader and prime sponsor of this measure, said during the hearings on Mar 8, 2007, “I am a lawyer practicing over 50 years in Nevada who believes this process is superior to the election process with respect to the judiciary.” Senator Raggio has reigned with an iron hand in the Legislature. He has ignored the will of the people supporting all the huge tax increases. Now he seeks to take away the right of the people to vote on who judges them….because he knows better than the people…Did I say elitist?
Question 1 provides for the initial appointment instead of election of our Nevada Supreme Court and District Court Judges. The Governor would appoint both the District Court and Supreme Court judges from a list of candidates recommended by the elite Commission on Judicial Selection. After the appointed judge serves at least 12 months his name would be placed on the ballot for the people to vote “Yes” or “No” to retain or not to retain the judge. The vote would require that 55% of the people vote to retain a judge for him to keep his seat. It is not very difficult to get 55% of the vote when you have no competition and no one running against you, and there’s no debate on the issues. Under this proposal there would exist no motivation to raise any money to oppose a corrupt or bad judge because there would be no campaign and no opponent.
Other states like Missouri, where this plan originated, have had a terrible time getting rid of corrupt or bad judges. It’s important to note that in other states the retention vote has required 60% instead of just 55% as in this proposal. There is no evidence to show the appointed judges are less corrupt than elected judges.
The appointment of judges would be controlled by the unaccountable “good old boys” operating the Judicial Selection Commission as a closed shop. Former Chief Justice of Nevada Deborah Agosti favors the election of judges saying she could never have become a judge, much less Chief Justice, in an appointive system.
If we reject a system where elected judges are accountable to the people and instead change our time tested Nevada Constitution to a proposal to have judges appointed, we will soon face the same elitist arrogance now so evident in the unelected unaccountable federal judiciary we are all suffering under.
Vote No on Question 1. Retain your right to hold the judges accountable at the ballot box!
In 2007 and in 2009 the Legislature passed this proposal. If the people pass the appointment of the judges in this election, instead of electing them, the appointment of judges will become part of the Nevada Constitution.