CARSON CITY — The state Assembly voted unanimously Monday for a proposed constitutional amendment that would create an appeals court between the state’s district courts and the Supreme Court — an idea twice rejected by Nevada voters.
Senate Joint Resolution 9 was approved April 13 by the state Senate. Since it would amend the Nevada Constitution, it must be approved a second time by state lawmakers in the 2009 session, and then go to a public vote in 2010.
The appeals court plan has come up repeatedly in the Legislature over the past 30 years, and made it to the ballot twice — in 1980 and again in 1992 — only to be rejected by voters.
Advocates of the new Nevada appeals court had urged lawmakers to get the question on the ballot though voters had rejected it previously.
Chief Justice Bill Maupin said the appeals court is needed because of the increasing litigation that stems from Nevada’s rapid growth. Maupin said various steps to keep up with the high court’s workload have helped — but now it’s time to move the court system “up another level.”
Maupin also said that with a strong, professionally run campaign, proponents could make a better case for voters.
SJR9 would cost about $1.2 million a year. The court would hold its hearings in an existing court room in Las Vegas that is used only occasionally by the Supreme Court.2007