Another sucker-punch editorial

To the editor:

The Review-Journal delivered a below-the-belt double whammy to the Nevada Judicial Discipline Commission in its Thursday editorial, “Benefiting the public and the judiciary.” It erroneously pummeled the commission for a lack of speed and transparency in carrying out its duties, dictated by current law, then turned around and delivered a second low blow when it knowingly failed to give any credit to the commission for its proactive and collaborative role with the Article 6 Commission of the Nevada Supreme Court in developing the proposed recommendations to fix the system.

As a former vice chairwoman and member of the Judicial Discipline Commission, whose second four-year term ended Jan. 5, I call double-foul!

No one better knows or has been more frustrated with the shortcomings and pitfalls in the process than the Judicial Discipline Commission itself, which must follow laws that have hamstrung its operations and given rise to widespread criticism — all while it couldn’t publicly defend its actions due to confidentiality restrictions in the statutes.

When the discipline commission learned that the Article 6 Commission had made the judicial discipline process a priority, it approached the Article 6 Commission subcommittee and proposed that the analysis and development of new statutes and procedures be done as a joint project between the two entities. After the discipline commission conducted an in-depth analysis of specific procedural problems — accomplished through a comprehensive survey completed by each commissioner, followed up by discussion sessions — that information became the basis for two subsequent meetings planned by and held between the two groups.

The Judicial Discipline Commission advocated and arranged for the involvement of Cynthia Gray, as expert consultant to facilitate the recommendation process, funded by the Article 6 Commission. The result of this productive collaboration, begun back in July 2007, is Ms. Gray’s report on recommended changes in Nevada’s judicial disciplinary process. I hope the report will be adopted by the Article 6 Commission, then passed into law by the state Legislature this session.

As to the specific problems with recent cases referred to in the editorial, suffice it to say, those issues have been carefully analyzed and addressed in the proposed recommendations. Confidentiality restrictions still apply.

The judicial discipline process is a balancing act between expediency and due process, and between transparency and the confidentiality rights of judges. The system, designed to preserve the public’s confidence in the judiciary through effective judicial discipline, must be fair and just; which is more than I can say for the Review-Journal’s most recent and past editorials criticizing the Nevada Judicial Discipline Commission.

DaVeen “Dedee” Nave

LAS VEGAS

Plaudits for print

To the editor:

I agree with Review-Journal Editor Thomas Mitchell. I never thought I would hear those words come out of my mouth. That’s like saying, “I like the Yankees,” or “I can’t wait for my next colonoscopy.”

But, alas, after reading his Sunday column, “Dealing with difficult times,” I do. Newspapers must adhere to these troubled financial times and make adjustments. Hence the smaller paper on Mondays and Tuesdays.

I do not want to see the newspaper go away anytime soon. The morning paper is by far the more enjoyable way to get my dash of news each day, rather than by the Internet, which I can access for free. The paper is easier to read than the Internet. Ever try to eat a bowl of cereal with a cup of coffee in front of the Internet?

A newspaper allows you to go at your own pace. You can skip from section to section or go from start to finish in order. I can read smaller news blurbs and read advertisements more often than if I were reading the contents on the Internet. Plus, you can do things with the paper you can’t do with the Internet; you can take it to work, read it on lunch break if you eat outside the office, and, most importantly, take it to the bathroom. Have you ever heard of anyone putting down the Internet for their new puppy to go on? Of course not.

In my case the paper provides me with laughs to start my day. Whether it’s the Review-Journal editorial board’s endless pursuit of having all government jobs done by unpaid volunteers, or Publisher Sherman Frederick eloquently repeating himself to the point of renaming his column “The Broken Record,” or just pondering the photo of Glenn Cook because he looks so much like someone who bagged my groceries last week. (No one should look that young.)

I’m sure conservatives could somehow reluctantly agree with me that newspapers are better. They must wake up each day and race to get their paper, and over a bowl of prunes, quickly open the pages to where they find out who they have to hate today.

Whatever the case may be, long live the newspaper.

Scott Kagan

LAS VEGAS

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