Nevada High Court Moves to Fill Vacancy

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Chief Justice Miriam Shearing said Wednesday the state Commission on Judicial Selection has started work on filling a Nevada Supreme Court vacancy caused by the Jan. 9 death of Justice Myron Leavitt.

Applications are available at Supreme Court offices in Carson City and Las Vegas, and the deadline for submitting them is Feb. 19. The commission plans to conduct interviews March 18 in Carson City.

Shearing also said that while Leavitt had his office in Las Vegas, the person appointed to the vacancy can have an office at either end of the state.

"There is no southern or northern seat. There are only Nevada seats," Shearing said.

Following the interviews, the commission will submit three nominees to Gov. Kenny Guinn, who will make the final choice on a replacement until the November election.

Greg Bortolin, Guinn's press secretary, has said the governor intends to pick a successor quickly after interviewing the three finalists. Shearing noted that if an appointment isn't made within 30 days, the governor couldn't make any other appointments to public office.

In addition to being a Supreme Court justice, Leavitt had served as state lieutenant governor, a Las Vegas city councilman, Clark County commissioner and justice of the peace.

Leavitt ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1982, and also made two unsuccessful rough-and-tumble runs for the Supreme Court, in 1988 and in 1994. He was finally elected to the high court in 1998.