Las Vegas Sun

August 18, 2022

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Secretary of state asks for stay in reapportionment

CARSON CITY – Secretary of State Ross Miller has asked the Nevada Supreme Court to issue an emergency order stopping a special panel from drawing a reapportionment plan for the U.S. Congress and the Nevada Legislature.

Miller says the panel should be stopped until the Supreme Court rules on his petition, which suggests the panel does not have the proper legal guidance from District Judge Todd Russell.

The secretary of state, however, says the special panel should go ahead with its public hearings Monday in Las Vegas and Tuesday in Carson City.

Russell created the three-member special panel to draw up the realignment map, but Miller said the judge didn't advise the committee on issues such as creating a district that is heavily Hispanic.

The Supreme Court has set a hearing for Nov. 14 on the Miller petition. In the meantime, the court is asking Miller whether the court system has the authority to draw up the reapportionment plan.

The court noted the Nevada Constitution says the Legislature is mandated to accomplish the task. Democrats in the Legislature pushed through two reapportionment bills but both were vetoed by Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The court also wants Miller to answer whether Sandoval has the authority to impose his veto on the two bills. The court noted it has the power to order the Legislature into special session.

Miller said the normal course would be to ask for the emergency order from the district court. But in this case, his petition is challenging the decision of Judge Russell, so he said he is able to submit the emergency motion to the Supreme Court.

The secretary of state said stopping the panel from drawing the maps until it gets the legal guidance of Russell “will avoid potentially having to redraw the maps.”

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