Heller meets nominee Cadish, won't budge


WASHINGTON - A meeting Friday morning between Sen. Dean Heller and Clark County judge Elissa Cadish failed to break an impasse over her nomination to the federal court in Nevada.

The two met for half an hour in Heller's office in Las Vegas, a Heller spokesman said.

Afterward, the Republican senator said he remained firm against Cadish. Heller said he remained troubled about a statement she made in 2008 that called into question her views on gun rights.

"I respect Judge Cadish and believe she has had many great accomplishments in her career," Heller said in a statement. "However, I cannot support her nomination as a federal judge.

"I believe an individual citizen has the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and cannot in good conscience support a nominee whose commitment to the Constitution's Second Amendment is in doubt."

Cadish requested the meeting after Heller declined to sign off for the Senate Judiciary Committee to schedule a hearing on her nomination to become a U.S. district judge. He continues to block the nomination.

Her nomination by President Barack Obama has been thrown into question after the committee's Republican staff turned up a voter questionnaire that Cadish completed in 2008 while running for Clark County judge.

Asked whether she believed individuals have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, Cadish wrote: "I do not believe that there is this constitutional right. Thus, I believe that reasonable restrictions may be imposed on gun ownership in the interest of public safety. Of course, I will enforce the laws as they exist as a judge."

Cadish has sought to clarify her remark, saying she was not giving a personal opinion, but rather was commenting on what was believed to be unsettled law at the time.

The Supreme Court issued landmark rulings later in 2008 and in 2010 that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess firearms.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., had selected Cadish and sent her name to the White House for nomination.

Reid repeated Friday he does not intend to withdraw Cadish from consideration and called on Heller to allow Cadish's nomination to move forward.

"Judge Cadish is exceptionally qualified to serve on Nevada's federal bench, and I strongly stand by her nomination," Reid said. "The unprecedented refusal to allow Judge Cadish a hearing to answer questions and explain her views is not fair to Nevadans who deserve to hear what she has to say."

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Follow him on Twitter @STetreaultDC.

 

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