Justices to review Nevada term limits law

Chris Rizo Jun. 26, 2008, 2:39pm

Catherine Cortez Masto (D)

CARSON CITY, Nev. (Legal Newsine)-The Nevada Supreme Court said Wednesday it will consider next month a case that questions the constitutionality of the state's term limits rule.

The case centers on whether 21 candidates for public office are eligible to seek re-election since Nevadans, in 1996, approved a constitutional amendment limiting the terms of service for certain public officers to 12 years.

Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller has directed county clerks to remove the candidates, including longtime Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury and Nevada Regent Howard Rosenberg, from the ballot because they've served the 12-year maximum time allowed in their offices.

At issue in the case is whether the election in 1996 counts against the time they could hold an office since term limits were made part of the state constitution that same year.

In papers filed with the high court, state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said the voters decided that officeholders should be restricted to 12 years of service and that should be respected.

"The voters added term limits to Nevada's Constitution to restrict the service of officials to 12 years," the Democratic AG wrote. "While the service of Nevada's devoted officials must be applauded, the voters' will must be faithfully enforced."

In a four-page order announcing it was hearing the case, the state Supreme Court told parties involved in the case, including the attorney general's office, district attorneys and the challenged candidates to file supplemental briefs addressing the term-limit amendment's constitutional validity.

Oral arguments in the cases has been set for July 14, the Supreme Court said.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

More News