Question 2, which would have provided Nevadans with a desperately needed intermediate appellate court, narrowly passed in Clark County by roughly 4,100 votes – 216,553 to 212,330, but the measure was trounced by more than 42,000 statewide, 313,769 for and 356,356 against.
This illustrates an unavoidable fact: Even for all the superior numbers in densely populated Clark County, the 16 less populated counties, famously independent and politically conservative by margins of two to one, still carry clout when the vote down south is close.
In Clark County, 428,983 voters cast a vote for or against amending the state constitution to create the intermediate appeals court, which would have freed up valuable time for the Nevada Supreme Court to contemplate seriously the more weighty matters of law.
The Nevada State Bar and the Clark County Bar and a virtual who’s who of citizens from across the political and business spectrum came together to endorse Question 2.
As an aside, the bars and the prominent groups and citizens also supported Question 1, which would have enacted a form of merit selection of judges. The initiative never had a chance as a noble, energetic and well-organized public outreach effort rolled into action a month too late to influence an electorate that is nothing if not tough to convince.
This illustrates a second unavoidable fact: Attorneys need to engage in a little reverse psychology when asking the public to fundamentally alter the state constitution and its judiciary.
Next time a ballot question comes around that if passed would measurably improve and enhance the administration of justice in Nevada, the Nevada State Bar and the Clark County Bar and that virtual who’s who should come out virulently opposed.
Just scream and shout and pant how bad the ballot question is. Buy some commercials on TV (you can spend all you want and truth in advertising laws do not apply). Whatever you do, don't lend your endorsement. I get the sense attorneys are not very popular these days.
Don't feel bad, neither are journalists.