WSJ: Rewrites the history of Guinn v. Legislature


Interesting piece in The Wall Street Journal today on Sharron Angle and her bid to unseat Sen. Harry Reid.

It really did not tell Nevadans much we don’t already know about candidate Angle and her conservative views, but it told us some things about our political history no one knew, mainly because they are false.

The article brings up the Nevada Supreme Court ruling in 2003 that set aside a constitutional mandate that tax increases require a two-thirds majority. It was the case of Guinn v. Legislature.

“She spearheaded a movement to get the Supreme Court replaced,” writes Stephen Moore, a senior economics writer for the editorial page of WSJ. “In the next election in 2006, voters threw out five of the seven members of the Nevada Supreme Court; the other two had retired. ‘It was a referendum on that tax increase vote,’ she (Angle) argues. ‘And the new court came in and reversed that decision and made our constitution whole.’

Now, Angle did in fact spearhead the successful legal fight to get the court to repudiate its 6-1 ruling in Guinn v. Legislature, but I don’t recall, nor can I find, that Angle aggressively sought to replace members of the court.

In fact, the voters only threw out one of the justices, Nancy Becker who lost to Nancy Saitta in 2006.

The ruling was also 6-1 with Justice Bill Maupin in dissent. He retired in 2009.

Of the rest of those in the majority, Deborah Agosti, who wrote the opinion, retired, as did Bob Rose and Miriam Shearing. Myron Leavitt died in 2004. Mark Gibbons is still serving on the court.

In September of 2006 a unanimous Supreme Court, including Becker and Gibbons, reversed the decision of Guinn v. Legislature. Angle said at the time she was $50,000 in debt fighting the legal battle.