(Thomas Daly) – The Nevada Constitution reserves to the people the right to impact the legislative process through the initiative and referendum. To actually get such a proposal on the ballot, however, is difficult, as it should be, with the constitution requiring a signature gathering process based on a percentage of the vote in the most recent election.
The Nevada legislature, ever jealous of their prerogatives, has made the people’s option more difficult by imposing requirements for such efforts that go beyond what the Nevada constitution demands, including some which have been declared a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
In an attempt to gain some clarity about whether the constitution or statutory provisions govern such efforts and to challenge those extra-constitutional provisions, the citizens filed an appeal of a District Court decision with the Nevada Supreme Court in May 2012, in hopes of getting a resolution in advance of the 2014 election cycle. In People’s Legislature v. Miller, the citizens asked the Justices to clarify the ‘single subject’ rule, in particular.
The Justices did not schedule oral arguments until March 2014. We now enter the 2016 election cycle with one or more referenda pending, still with no decision from the court. The Nevada Justices owe their constituents an answer, whatever that may be, so that the process can proceed under what existing or revised rules dictate.
Justice delayed is justice denied.