Appellate court, round four?


Wasn't it less than six months ago that Nevada voters went to the polls and rejected another effort to create an intermediate state appellate court?

Indeed, Question 2 failed, 53 percent to 47 percent, last November.

So why on earth did the Nevada Senate last week pass legislation putting the issue on the ballot one more time in 2014?

Is it a matter of wearing down voters until they raise a white flag and endorse the agenda of the state's power brokers out of frustration with having to deal with the issue over and over again?

Three times state voters have rebuffed arguments that the Nevada Supreme Court is so overloaded that an intermediate appellate court is necessary to thin the case load.

Proponents point out that Nevada is one of only 11 states without such an appellate court and insist that expanding the system will help speed up the adjudication of individual cases while giving the high court more time to deal with substantive matters.

But perhaps voters have concerns about the costs of adding another layer to the judicial bureaucracy -- the new court is expected to cost close to $2 million annually. Or maybe they don't buy the notion that the high court has little room to improve the efficiency of its operation.

Regardless of their motives, however, Nevadans have made it clear they don't favor amending their state constitution to create a three-judge intermediate panel to act as a buffer between the nine district courts and the Supreme Court.

At least the 2010 ballot question was 18 years removed from the previous effort to get voters to OK an appellate court. If this Senate bill passes the Assembly and gets the governor's signature, there will be just four years between identical ballot measures. That's just too soon and shows a lack of respect for the judgment of Nevadans who took the time to render their verdict on the issue last year.

If conditions had changed drastically in the past few months, there might be an argument for quickly asking voters to reconsider. But that's not the case.

Let it be for the near future.

 

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