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Nevada court wants answer to question from public employees and lawmakers

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada’s Supreme Court said Thursday it wants to finally settle a key issue that has plagued public employees elected to the state’s part-time Legislature for decades: a person who does should the law also enforce the law?

The state’s seven-member high court unanimously called for more investigative hearings by a lower-court judge into a Nevada Policy Research Institute lawsuit that would topple nine public sector employees , including the two leading Democrats in the state legislature.

“Few people would support rules that limit their own power, which is precisely why the power to write the law must be separated from those responsible for enforcing the law,” institute director Robert Fellner said in a statement. a statement welcoming the decision.

A 15-page decision written by Justice James Hardesty recognized the extraordinary importance of deciding whether the constitutional separation of state powers clause applies to elected officials who hold full-time taxpayer-funded jobs.


He called the separation of powers “probably the most important principle of government declaring and guaranteeing the liberties of the people”.

The Nevada Constitution prohibits a person from holding two elective offices or in more than one branch of government at the same time.

The case in court involves nine Las Vegas-area lawmakers — seven Democrats and two Republicans — variously employed by the Clark County Attorney and Public Defender’s Offices, the Southern Nevada Regional Transportation Commission and Clark County School District.

Top Democrats are Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro, Clark County’s attorney, and Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, the county’s deputy public defender.

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