Michael Cherry

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Michael Cherry
Current Court Information:
Nevada Supreme Court
Title:   Justice
Position:   Seat C
Salary:  $170,000
Active:   2006-2018
Chief:   2012-2013
Past position:   Judge, Nevada Eighth Judicial District Court
Past term:   1998-2006
Past position 2:   Clark County Special Public Defender's Office
Past term 2:   1997-1998
Personal History
Party:   Democratic
Undergraduate:   University of Missouri, 1966
Law School:   Washington University School of Law, 1969
Candidate 2012:
Candidate for:  Supreme Court
State:  Nevada
Election information 2012:
Incumbent:  Yes
Election date:  November 6, 2012
Election vote:  73.25%ApprovedA

Michael A. Cherry is a justice for the Nevada Supreme Court. Cherry was elected to the Supreme Court on November 7, 2006.[1] He served as Chief Justice from May 7, 2012 until January 5, 2013.[2] Cherry was retained in 2012; his current term expires in 2018.[3][4]


Cherry received his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri in 1966 and his J.D. from the Washington University School of Law in 1969.[5]


After graduating from law school, Cherry became a Deputy Public Defender in Clark County. From there he moved into private practice, first as an associate, and later he was a partner. He spent years concentrating on fire litigation with hotel chains before serving as an alternate municipal judge in Las Vegas and Henderson. In 1997, Cherry was appointed to the Clark County Special Public Defender's Office. One year later, he was elected to the Eighth District Court. Cherry was elected to the Nevada Supreme Court in 2006.[6]



Cherry was re-elected after running unopposed in the general election on November 6, winning 73.25% of the vote.[7][3]

See also: Nevada judicial elections, 2012


In 2006, Cherry ran unopposed for a six-year term on the court.
Candidate IncumbentSeatPrimary %Election %
Michael Cherry ApprovedA NoSeat C75%
None of these candidates Seat C25%

Election results are from the Nevada Secretary of State for the Primary Election and General Election. [8][9]


2010 judicial performance evaluation

The Las Vegas Review Journal conducted a judicial performance evaluation in 2010. The survey asked state attorneys to rate judges on a variety of criteria. Of the 796 respondents, 73% recommended Judge Cherry for retention.[10][11]

2013 judicial performance evaluation

In 2013, the Las Vegas Review-Journal sponsored a survey of 902 lawyers who rated Nevada Supreme Court justices and judges located in Clark County. 79% of respondents voted in favor of keeping Cherry on the bench. The average vote in favor of retention for all 88 judges evaluated was 71%.[12]

Notable cases

First Amendment rights

The Review-Journal successfully petitioned a District Court judge to lift an order preventing the media from identifying women who have accused Las Vegan Steven Newberg of rape. Judge Cherry overturned a gag order that justice of the peace Ann Zimmerman had placed on the press, prohibiting the publication or broadcast of the names of three alleged rape victims who had appeared in open court and whose names are contained in the public record.[13] Cherry ruled that the decision on whether to identify alleged rape victims who testify in court should be left to Las Vegas Valley media outlets. "I'm going to leave it to the (Las Vegas) Sun and the Review-Journal as to how they are going to handle it," he said.[14]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Cherry received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.21, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is less liberal than the average CF score of -0.22 that justices received in Nevada. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[15]

See also

External link


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