Court Hearing Set On Nevada Legislature Suit

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The Nevada Supreme Court has scheduled May 27 for a hearing in a dispute over full-time government employees serving in the state's part-time Legislature.

Chief Justice Miriam Shearing on Monday set the date, and gave Secretary of State Dean Heller and his lawyer, Attorney General Brian Sandoval, 10 days in which to respond to legal arguments backing such service.

Those arguments were submitted by the state Legislature's chief legal counsel, the Nevada State Education Association and the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada.

Five legislators also hold jobs in their nonlegislative time as state employees. Four others work for local governments.

Sandoval has asked the Supreme Court to find that dual service by state employees in the Legislature is unconstitutional. He also asked for a finding on whether local government employees can do double duty as lawmakers.

Deputy Secretary of State Renee Parker said Heller wanted the court to make a decision before the end of election filing this Friday.

Parker also said Heller didn't want to pick a fight with legislators, but only get a court resolution to several conflicting attorneys general opinions on the issue. Attorneys general opinions don't have the force of law unless upheld by a court.