Report: Masto appealing decision over Congressional seat

Jessica M. Karmasek May 24, 2011, 2:00pm


CARSON CITY, Nev. (Legal Newsline) - Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto filed papers Monday with the state Supreme Court, appealing a district judge's ruling that limits the number of candidates who can run to replace former U.S. Rep. Dean Heller.

Heller, a Republican who represented Nevada's 2nd Congressional District from 2007 until earlier this month, took U.S. Sen John Ensign's seat.

Ensign, also a Republican, resigned earlier this month amid an ethics committee investigation into his handling of an affair with a former staff member. Heller was appointed by Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval to Ensign's seat.

On Monday, Carson City District Judge Todd Russell released a ruling that said the GOP would suffer "irreparable harm" if an unlimited number of candidates were allowed to run for the seat.

Deputy Attorney General Kevin Benson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he could not comment on the office's arguments.

The Supreme Court has been asked to expedite its decision, the Review-Journal said.

In the meantime, a candidate filing period to fill Heller's seat begins Wednesday and ends June 30, the newspaper reported.

Heller has already announced he will run in the 2012 election for his U.S. Senate seat.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at

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