WEEKLY EDITORIAL RECAP

Tuesday

Term limits appeal?

Howard Rosenberg has served as a regent for Nevada’s higher education system since 1996. He’s lucky he’s been there that long, considering he’s also an art professor at the University of Nevada, Reno, and his election to the board raised legitimate questions about double-dipping, conflicts of interest and the separation of powers. …

At any rate, Mr. Rosenberg managed to deflect such concerns and was re-elected in 2002. And in Nevada, there’s scant chance of any judge ruling that Mr. Rosenberg is ineligible to serve under a concept as arcane as the “separation of powers” — we have dozens of public employees serving in the state Legislature, for goodness sake, despite the clear prohibition of such in the state constitution.

But on Friday, the state Supreme Court upheld term limits on Nevada officeholders, approved twice by voters in the mid 1990s. That means Mr. Rosenberg is ineligible to run for his seat again this fall because he will have already served the maximum 12 years.

Mr. Rosenberg isn’t happy. On Monday he said he is so angry over the ruling that he “could kill,” whatever that means. The target of his anger is unclear, given that the unanimous court ruling was a no-brainer and that this issue was pretty much decided in 1996. Perhaps Mr. Rosenberg just can’t stomach the notion that the democratic process allows citizens to place restrictions on the power of their elected officials — after all, he’s been thumbing his nose at the separation of powers doctrine, a cornerstone of our republic, for more than a dozen years.

Mr. Rosenberg threatens to appeal the term limits decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. Good luck. Given his failure to grasp certain basic civics concepts, we’d suggest he first consult with a political science professor at his own university about his chances.

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