Lawsuit: Nevada Constitution forbids government employees from serving in the Legislature

Nevada Policy Research Institute
July 9, 2020

Today, Nevada Policy filed a lawsuit in Clark County district court against nine state and local government employees who are currently serving as state legislators, in violation of the state constitution.

The lawsuit asks the court to enforce Nevada’s Separation of Powers doctrine, which states that the Government of Nevada is divided into three co-equal branches, and no one charged with exercising the powers of one branch may exercise “any function” pertaining to the others.

As the Nevada Supreme Court previously explained, the separation of powers is “probably the most important single principle of government” safeguarding Nevadans’ liberties and, as such, not even a single “seemingly harmless” violation of the principle can be tolerated.

Despite the Court’s clear guidance, however, state and local government employees have continuously served in the Legislature for decades, a practice which has undermined the principle of representative government and eroded the Legislature’s ability to truly serve the public interest.

“Allowing those tasked with carrying out and enforcing the law to also write the law totally and completely undermines the concept of a representative government and is a clear violation of the Nevada Constitution,” according to Nevada Policy Vice President Robert Fellner.

“Few would support rules that limit their own power,” Fellner said, “which is precisely why the power to write the law must be kept separate from those tasked with enforcing the law.”




Quote of
the week



“The ability to use tax dollars to fund their aggressive lobbying efforts has already allowed government agencies to become some of the best represented groups before the Legislature.”

Robert Fellner, NPRI  

EDITORIAL: ‘I’ll just wait and see what they come up with’

Las Vegas Review-Journal
July 9, 2020

Nevada lawmakers have convened in Carson City to concoct a plan to fill a $1.2 billion budget hole created when the coronavirus ripped across the landscape. Talk continues to heat up that tone-deaf majority Democrats — with the embers still radiating from the state’s smoldering economy — will attempt to jam through an ill-advised tax hike.


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