Nevada is one of only 10 states (Delaware, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming) + DC without an intermediate appellate court. Two years ago I noted that Nevada is once again attempting to get an intermediate appellate court for the state. The Senate version of that bill (SJR 14 of 2011) met was approved 16-5 in the Senate and 32-8 in the Assembly.
Because Nevada requires a constitutional amendment be passed by 2 legislatures, the bill has been resubmitted and retains the same number, now SJR 14 of 2013.
If approved, this would be the fourth time voters considered creating an intermediate appellate court.
In 1980 and 1992 voters rejected efforts to amend the constitution to create an intermediate appellate court (“The Judicial power of this State
shall be is vested in a court system, comprising a Supreme Court, a Court of Appeals, District Courts…”)
The third attempt in 2010 (Question 2) would have allowed but not required the creation of the court (“The Judicial power of this State
shall be is vested in a court system, comprising a Supreme Court, a court of appeals, if established by the Legislature, District Courts…”)
The 2011/2013 version returns back to the language in which the court of appeals is created (“The Judicial power of this State
shall be is vested in a court system, comprising a Supreme Court, a court of appeals, District Courts…”)
All three elections effectively had the same arguments for and against. Proponents argued that the creation of the court would alleviate backlog in the Supreme Court and allow for faster disposition of appeals. Opponents argued a new court would cost taxpayers and add costs to litigation.
What sets the 1980/1992 apart from the 2010/2013 versions is the jurisdiction of the court of appeals; the 1980/1992 version provided the legislature would set the jurisdiction, the 2010/2013 allows the Supreme Court to set it.
If approved by the 2013 session the question on a court of appeals would be on the 2014 ballot.