April 28, 2008

Representative Government - Nevada Style?

(My friend Dee has posted here before and she has brought something to my attention that is being ignored by our local media. In essence it is a ruling that strikes at the very heart of county autonomy and representative government. Residency requirements for elective office exist for a reason, namely, that the person being elected will not only have an understanding of the area and its issues, but will also have a stake in the decisions they make, whether legislative or judicial.)

Guest Post - Dee Holzel

WINNEMUCCA — While we in Nevada have quietly been going about our business, a legal decision was made that could fundamentally change the residency requirements of elected officials.

The case involves Mike Montero, of Reno, who decided to run for judge in the 6th Judicial District Court.

Here’s the problem: Mr. Montero does not live within the jurisdiction of the 6th Judicial District Court, which includes Humboldt, Pershing, and Lander Counties.

A challenge was filed to Montero’s candidacy on the grounds he didn’t meet the residency requirements as outlined in the Nevada Revised Statutes AND the Nevada Constitution.

This is really a no-brainer. The law requires candidates to live in the districts where they’re running for office at least 30 days before filing.

The challenge was filed with the Sec. of State’s Office, who turned it over to the Attorney General’s Office.

The case ended up in the 2nd Judicial District Court (Washoe County) where Montero successfully argued that judges are state officers and therefore the entire state is their district.

In essence, anyone can run for judge anywhere.

Where will this end? One slick politician has gotten around the residency requirements -- how long before the rest follow suit?

The implications are greater for those of us who live in rural Nevada because it isn’t likely someone from Elko is going to end up on the bench in Clark County.
It will probably be the other way around. Politicians will look at the rurals as being an easier place to jump-start their political careers.

If we allow this to happen, we can kiss our water good-bye.

The AG has until April 30 to appeal the case to the Nevada Supreme Court.

More info: Las Vegas Review-Journal article (4/12/2008)


Gordon said...

I swiped your post on the canceled Repug convention and managed to conflate it a little with the recent swarm of earthquakes. Have a look at


Gordon said...

Doesn't look like that worked. Try this and scroll down.