Judicial selection in Nevada

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Judicial selection in the states
Judicial selection in Nevada
Seal of Nevada.png
Nevada Supreme Court
Method:   Non-partisan election of judges
Term:   6 years
Nevada District Courts
Method:   Non-partisan election of judges
Term:   6 years
Nevada Justice Courts
Method:   Non-partisan election of judges
Term:   6 years

Judges in Nevada are selected via non-partisan elections. Elected judges then serve six-year terms.

Supreme Court

Justices of the Nevada Supreme Court are elected to six-year terms by nonpartisan election.

Nevada is one of six states in which the Chief Justice is determined by seniority. The Chief Justice of the court serves a two-year term.

In order to join the court, an individual must meet the following qualifications:

  • be a qualified elector;
  • be 2 yrs a state resident;
  • the minimum age of 25;
  • be licensed and admitted to practice law in NV;
  • be 15 yrs a licensed attorney, with at least 2 in NV.

Terms begin on the first Monday of the January following the justice's election.[1]

Circuit Courts

The chief judge serves a two-year term and the chief judge is required in districts that have a population of 100,000 or more people to be chosen by peer vote. In all other districts, a chief judge may be selected as he/she is needed.

All other aspects are the same as the Nevada Supreme Court, excluding being a district resident.

Court vacancies

If there is a vacancy on a court between elections, the Nevada Commission on Judicial Selection solicits and screens applicants and makes recommendations to the governor, who appoints a mid-term replacement. Appointed judges must compete for the seat in the next general election, then serve the remainder of the unexpired term.[2]

Reform efforts


In 2010, a ballot measure regarding judicial selection was defeated by voters. The Nevada Judicial Appointment Amendment wanted to adopt a new method of selection, akin to the Missouri Plan. The measure was defeated with 57.74% of the vote.[3] The amendment would have:

  • created a selection panel to screen and recommend candidates for appointment to judicial vacancies;
  • allowed the governor to appoint a candidate;
  • made the appointee subject to a retention election after two years in office.

The most vocal advocate for passage of the ballot measure was former Supreme Court of the United States Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Justice O'Connor spoke across the state, appeared in television ads, and even participated in home robo-calls to mobilize voters.[4]

Ultimately, voters supported keeping the current method of judicial selection. The opposition to the measure framed the debate as taking away voting rights and replacing them with an unelected panel.[5]

See also

External links


NevadaNevada Supreme CourtNevada District CourtsNevada Justice CourtsNevada Municipal CourtsClark County Family Court, NevadaUnited States District Court for the District of NevadaUnited States bankruptcy court, District of NevadaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitNevada countiesNevada judicial newsNevada judicial electionsJudicial selection in NevadaNevadaTemplate.jpg