Las Vegas Sun

July 25, 2014

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letter to the editor:

Opt for judges with integrity

After reading the Dec. 16 letter to the editor “Conflicts of interest in court” by Bert Brandenburg, I was compelled to read the report he quoted.

The report asks six questions about state financial disclosures for judges. The Nevada section only reported on State Supreme Court judges, but since we elect all our judges the same rules would apply to any judge in Nevada.

Two of those six questions deal with the income and financial liabilities of the judge, his spouse and his children. No elected state official in Nevada is required to disclose that information.

The letter implies — because our judges are elected and they receive campaign contributions from individuals who appear before them — that they are somehow corrupted by that process.

Many of those contributors are attorneys, which suggests all our elected state officials have the same problem: Do our county commissioners have a conflict when they approve a public employee union contract? They receive campaign contributions from public employee labor unions.

If we eliminate elections for judges, the only other way to fill the seat is through appointment. There’s still the potential for conflict.

This time it’s with the elected official who makes the appointment. What happens when a case comes before a judge that involves the official who appointed him or her to office?

It’s up to the people who vote in Nevada to do enough research on the judges they elect to make sure they are the best most exemplary choice for the court in which they preside. I like it that way.

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