Some judicial branch news was overshadowed last week by the health care debate in Washington and campaigning in the U.S. Senate race in Nevada.
The Associated Press reported Friday that Nevada Supreme Court Justice James Hardesty will seek re-election in 2010.
Hardesty is a former chief District Court judge in Washoe County who was elected to the high court in 2004, the wire service said.
In recent years, the Attorneys for Criminal Justice gave him their "Defender of the Sixth Amendment" award and Nevada Legal Services picked him for its "Champion of Justice" award.
Las Vegas Municipal Judge Cedric Kerns was honored with a 2009 Community Planner Award.
Kerns was selected for his commitment to supporting 12-step programs and other recovery efforts.
The statement announcing the award said Kerns "has seen an innumerable amount of habitual repeat offenders and recognizes the correlation between drug use/abuse and criminal behavior."
LOWDEN, TARKANIAN ON HEALTH CARE
While Nevada’s elected officials in Congress were preparing to vote on proposed health care reform legislation, the candidates seeking to challenge them in 2010 were doing some positioning of their own on the issue.
Republican candidates for U.S. Senate Danny Tarkanian and Sue Lowden, who are among several Republicans seeking the nomination to challenge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., each made health care moves.
Tarkanian announced he would launch an initiative drive that would ensure that if states are given a choice to opt in or out of new federal health programs, the decision in Nevada would be up to the voters.
Tarkanian said he was opposed to much of the reforms the Democratic majority in Congress crafted, but that he does support access to health insurance coverage for all children even if it costs the government money.
Lowden issued a statement challenging Reid to answer three questions about the legislation: one about the cost, another about whether the plan would raise taxes, and a third about whether it would improve Medicare.
Republicans seeking to challenge Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., sent out statements to the media late last week to make sure they would be included in coverage of any votes.
And Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., a reform supporter, reminded people the majority plan has support from AARP, the American Cancer Society and the American Medical Association.
FORUM FOR U.S. SENATE CANDIDATES
On Nov. 19, the Review-Journal will hold a senatorial candidate forum for eight Republican candidates running for U.S. Senate in 2010.
The meeting, sponsored by the Boulder City Republican Women, will be at the Railroad Pass Hotel/Casino Banquet Room at 11:30 a.m. Candidates participating include Mark Amodei, Sharron Angle, Chuck Kozak, Lowden, Bill Parson, Tarkanian, Robin Titus and Mike Wiley.
REID REMEMBERS SHAFFER
The death of former state Sen. Ray Shaffer prompted a note of memorial from U.S. Sen. Reid, who wrote: "Through the years, Ray did an excellent job representing the people of North Las Vegas, and I know they will miss him. My heart goes out to his wife, Sharon, who was truly Ray’s partner in life. You would be hard-pressed to find a time when Sharon wasn’t by Ray’s side during his many endeavors. My thoughts go out to all of Ray’s family and friends during this difficult time."
Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman @reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861.