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Nevada Supreme Court, Carson City. (Photo by Jimmy Emerson, DVM)

NPRI Files Motion Against Eleven State Lawmakers For Violating Constitution

Legislators are prohibited of serving in the legislature as government employees

By Megan Barth, January 2, 2023 12:26 pm

Following their unanimous Nevada Supreme Court victory in April, which allowed  all citizens to bring constitutional separation of powers challenges without having to satisfy the traditional standing requirements, the Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI) has filed a second lawsuit (see below) against 11 state lawmakers for violating the state constitution by serving in the legislature as government employees.

After their victory in April 2022, previous defendants State Senators Melanie Scheible and Nicole Cannizzaro resigned their respective positions as county prosecutors. Consequently, there are no longer any prosecutors simultaneously serving as state legislators.

According to NPRI:

Almost all the newly added dual-serving legislators are public school employees, which highlights the inherent conflicts of interest that led the Framers to bar such dual service. These dual-serving legislators necessarily undermine faith and trust in the legislative process given they will be responsible for considering whether to raise taxes to increase funding for their own employer.  

Similar conflicts exist when these dual-serving legislators consider whether to approve educational reforms like school choice, which will unquestionably improve the quality of education but in a way that might undermine their professional interests, given that school choice threatens the public school system’s tax-funded, monopoly status.  

The current motion asks the court to follow its binding precedent. Named in the lawsuit are the following legislators:

Current State Legislators named in NPRI lawsuit for violating separation of powers in the NV constitution. (Photo: NPRI)

The lawsuit is currently pending before Clark County District Court Judge Jessica Peterson, who is considering the Defendants’ various motions to dismiss.

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