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Your paper assignment has four components. You are to address each of the following questions about the U.S. and Nevada Constitutions (your paper is not to just do a comparison of the two constitutions):
Basically, the Nevada state constitution is meant to govern the inhabitants of the State of Nevada to the exclusion of all others making Nevada as a sovereign state. Noteworthy, the Nevada constitution was ratified in the year 1864 and is lengthier than the United States constitution. The lengthiness of the Nevada constitution is attributed to its various broken parts which are considered an extension of the United States Constitution. Significantly, the Nevada Constitution is longer since it has been expanded to accommodate and serve the unique needs and aspiration of the citizens of Nevada. The desire to achieve it freedom of will has been encompassed in its constitution thus making it larger than the United States constitution .Simply put, the Nevada Constitution is an expression of the sovereignty power of its citizens .Essentially, the Nevada Constitution comprises of nineteen articles. Predominantly, the United States of America Constitution is a guiding document for all its states to adopt in their own state constitution thus making it shorter .It spells out the principles and other requirement of what each state should encompass in the governing of their state inhabitants.
Typically, state constitutions are lengthier than Federal constitutions due to the fact that State constitutions have a lot of responsibilities delegated to them by the Federal Constitution thus making the Nevada state constitution lengthier than the United States of America Constitution. Also, the Nevada State constitution is easier to amend as compared to the United States of America constitution. Usually, the state constitution has easier amendments procedures as compared to the United States Federal constitution procedures thereby making the Nevada Constitution heavier due to the frequent amendments made following the easier amendment procedures. Due to the large number of state functions, having been delegated by the Federal constitution, it is no surprise that the Nevada Constitution is heavier(Bower 2002).The fact that state constitutions are made at the state levels means it addresses issues unique to individual states thus opening up the possibility of some constitutions being lengthier than others. Further, the issues, right and duties enshrined in the Nevada constitution are not all about legitimacy of the state but include other aspects of the state such as economics, revenue among other unique and specific issues in Nevada as a state. State constitutions can easily be amended thus making it possible to have more pages and articles as compared to federal constitutions to which the United States of America Constitution belongs.
Currently, Sandoval Brian is the serving governor of Nevada which a chunk of political powers at his disposal. Noteworthy, Nevada Governors have immense political powers similar to that of presidents in other jurisdictions. Whereas presidents are the head of military forces in their countries, the Governor of Nevada is the commander in chief of the military forces in the state of Nevada (Ballotpedia n.d.).Equally, the governor has the veto powers at his disposal in the exercise of his duties as governor. In most African jurisdictions, such as Kenya, only the president has the veto powers and heads the Kenyan military forces .In the unlikely event that the president is unable to discharge such duties, then the deputy president does in an acting capacity. In Nevada, the governor exercises political powers such as granting pardons, remising fines and forfeitures among other priviledges.In addition, the governor has the powers to summon legislative sessions, adjourn proceedings among other privileges.
Also enshrined in the Nevada constitution is the ability to conduct his functions with both civil and military officers which is shared by presidents in other jurisdictions. Notably the United States of American President also exercises appointment powers in the sense that he can appoint ambassadors, federal court judges and cabinet secretaries. Also, the President of the United States can exercise veto powers and enter into treaties with other nations on behalf of the country. Additionally, the United States government has exercises the power to convening and adjourning sessions of the Congress (Harcourt 2016).Like the governor, the president of the United States can convene special meetings. Overall ,the president of the United States of America has more power as regards the command of the military and armed forces of the Nevada state.in this regard the president of the United States of America has more military command powers.
Specifically, the Nevada Governor has veto powers over state legislature and the powers to order the closure of financial entities thus him powerful politically in the Nevada state. Similarly, the governor wields military power over state military forces like the president does (Banning 2013).Moreover, in Nevada state, the governor is tasked with the duty and power to confirm and appoint the various members of the board and commission within his state.it is the governors duty to appoint the heads of the various Nevada state department and commissions to serve the people of Nevada. Undisputedly, the governor is considered the executive head of the state thus making his actions politically defining and important for the functioning of the state. The governor most of the powers and privileges inclusive of duties usually allied to president of most global states thus making the position of governor politically significantly. The position of state governor is as powerful as that of a president of a federal or parliamentary form of government.
Currently, Nevada constitution enshrines the legislative powers to make and amend new laws is vested in the people. Remarkably, through these initiatives and referendums, the citizens of Nevada are actively involved in their governance which is done through circulated petitions among citizens .In Nevada, citizens have various forms of exercising their democratic rights .This form of democracy helps the citizens to fight unjust laws and monitor the performance of their elected public officials for better governance and accountability. Also, through referendums the citizens of Nevada are able to approve or disprove acts of parliament (statutes).This Constitution provision, shares and constrains the powers of the Nevada states legislature due to the fact that the citizen vote decides the standing laws (Cegavske n. d).In as much as this is democracy, it reduces the powers and the major function of the legislature as regards law making commonly referred to as legislation.
Notably, there are seven widely acknowledged forms of direct democracy. Namely, legislative referred constitutional amendment also known as referendum, legislatively referred statute, initiated statute (directly or indirectly), constitutional amendment, veto referendum, statewide recall and state affirmation. Specifically, Nevada is the only state which has implemented state affirmation (Ballotpedia n.d.).Undeniably, the exercise of statute affirmation practiced in the Nevada state denies its legislature from acting independently .This is because the Citizens of Nevada have been constitutionally allowed to petition for the affirmation of any standing laws through collective petitions .In most jurisdictions, the legislature, who are members elected by the citizens independently propose laws and through a state or federal procedures and process, have them affirmed. The delegation of this right or privilege to the Nevada citizens in a way reduces the functions of the legislature and renders the presence of the Nevadan legislature not so powerful anymore.
Recently, the Nevada citizens instituted recall campaigns against it secretary of state Woodhouse, Henderson and Farley (Joecks 2017).Despite the right being enriched in its constitution, Nevada politicians are in uproar over the same. Specifically, Article 2of the Nevada Constitution confers the right to recall public officer by citizens where the public offer serves. In a way the recall power seeks to cushion the interest of the people due to the fact that the power to recall lies with them .In a way this makes legislature members at the mercy of the citizens. This recall provision doesn’t guarantee security of tenure of its public officers thus a disadvantage for Nevada politicians who feel at the mercy of the voters (Pooja n.d).Specifically, the Nevada Legislature has less duties as compared to other jurisdictions due to the various direct democratic provisions enshrined in its constitution favoring the voters (citizens).Constitutionally, the Nevada legislature is mandated to meet every 2 years.
In a way this means, the legislature doesn’t have much functions to execute. Further, the legislator’s term in Nevada is too year’s .In a way this doesn’t guarantee security of tenure due to the fact that for second mandate there’s need for another election. Moreover, there’s a twelve lifetime limit for assembly and 12 year limit for senate members(O.N.E n .d).Moreover, the Nevada legislative sittings are held at a biennal basis unless the same is called for by the Governor or the same is petitioned by 2/3 of its members. Also, the Nevada constitution has limited the legislative meetings allowances for its member which in a way curtails the independence of the legislature to assign its own remuneration. In addition, the functions of the legislature are constrained by the Nevada constitution in the sense that legislature is not permitted to enact bills or attend to any business not intended or planned for in that legislative session. In a way the constitution controls the actions of the legislature in Nevada.
Strengths and Weakness of the Nevada Judicial System and the “Missouri Plan”
Noteworthy, Nevada judges are elected into office through the people through their votes which in a way is a massive indicator of democracy and public participation. Remarkably, the Nevada judicial system has the option of the “none of the above” which allows voters to exercise their rights without any pressures. However, Under the “Missouri Plan” greater merits lie due to the fact that judges are to be nominated and screened by a commission as part of their qualifications before the appointment(Encyclopedia Britannica n.d).Basically, the “Missouri plan” advocates for the selection of judicial officers who are thoroughly screened before nominating them to the appointing authorities. Arguments against this merit plan is that it removes the power of the people to directly appoint their judicial officers by delegating the mandate to a commission.
Recently, the Nevada state is making steps towards adopting parts of the merit plan in a selection of its judicial officers. Under the current proposals, would be judges are prohibited from any politically related contributions so as to eradicate the political influence that comes with it. Further, judges would be appointed after being nominated by a stately constituted judicial commission (Gold 2006).Significantly, the vetting of judges by the state appointed commission will illuminate the candidate’s character and qualifications before taking office which in a way is duly diligent. Through this judicial commission, the likelihood of judges being properly selected is more likely as compared to the current system. Through the “Nevada Plan “it is proposed that judges serve a two year term which is sort of probationary in nature thus allowing time to review the candidate before open election. Notably, the probationary period has its merits as it is easier to evaluate the suitability and judge the independence of a judge.
Currently, Nevada s judicial system enjoys an intermediate appellate court but the journey wasn’t smooth. In the years 1980 and 1992 respectively efforts to establish an appellate intermediate court were rejected by the voters (Gaveltogavel 2013).Noteworthy, the attempt to establish the intermediate court was resubmitted in the year 2010 which was aimed at allowing the possibility of the intermediate court .Also, attempts to establish the court were reconstrued in the year 2011/2013 to allow the intermediate appellate court to be created. All this attempts flopped until the year 2014(Gaveltogavel 2013).Predemoninantly, the advocator of the creation of the intermediate bill anchored their argument on the fact that the intermediate appellate court would reduce case backlog and offer timely disposition of cases whereas the antagonists were of the opinion that this would be burdensome for tax payers.
Finally, the Nevada court of intermediate appeal was voted in on 4th Nov 2014 through the amendment of it’s Constitution. Similarly, the functioning of the court is assigned to three judge bench as experienced in Idaho and Mississipi states. Remarkably, the establishment of the court of appeal in the State of Nevada has substantially reduced the backlog, offered timely judgments and ruling which goes a long way in promoting timely and accessible justice to the inhabitants of Nevada.
Ballotpedia..Forms of Democracy in the American States.Ballotpedia.Com. Retrieved from https://ballotpedia.org/Forms_of_direct_democracy_in_the_American_states. Accessed 10 Dec 2017.
Ballot pedia. (N. d.).Governor of Nevada. Ballotpedia.Org. Retrieved from https: //ballotpedia.org/Governor_of_Nevada. Accessed 10 Dec 2017
Banning, Doresa. (2013).The Role and Responsibilities of State Officers. Business.Com. Retrieved from https://www.nevadabusiness.com/2013/12/role-responsibilities-state-officers/
Bowers, Wayne. Michael. (2002).The Sagebrush State: Nevada s History, Government and Politics. Google Books .Retrieved from https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=32F7ycdCCyQC&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=significance+of+the+fact+that+the+Nevada+constitution+is+lengthier+than+the+U.S.+Constitution.&source=bl&ots=cGX89C_Q6u&sig=SMBFPGBWtkwVj2J7XKG39n59bpA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwik_uzWwf7XAhVIlxQKHS_-AH8Q6AEIVTAJ
Cegavske, K. Barbara (N. d).Initiatives & Referendums. Nevada Secretary of State. Retrieved from https://nvsos.gov/sos/elections/initiatives-referenda. Accessed 10 Dec 2017.
Encyclopedia Britannica. (N. d.).Missouri Plan. Britannica.Com. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Missouri-Plan
Gavel to gavel. (2013).Nevada Considers intermediate appellate court; For NV Voters would be the 4th time in 4 Decades to vote on the Subject.GaveltoGavel.US. Retrieved from https://gaveltogavel.us/2013/04/01/nevada-considers-intermediate-appellate-courts-for-nv-voters-would-be-4th-time-in-4-decades-to-vote-on-subject/
Gold, Scott. (2006).New Rules sought for Nevada Judges. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/politicsnow/la-na-judges3sep03-story.html?barc=0
Harcourt, Mifflin .Houghton. (2016).The Powers of the President.Cliffnotes.Com. Retrieved from https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/american-government/the-president/the-powers-of-the-president
Joecks, Victor. (2017).Recall efforts proper under Nevada s Constitution .Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved from https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/news-columns/victor-joecks/recall-efforts-proper-under-nevadas-constitution/
Nevada Judiciary. (n .d).”Court of Appeals”. Government of Nevada. Retrieved from https://nvcourts.gov/Supreme/Court_Information/Court_of_Appeals/.Accessed 10 Dec 2017.
Nevada Legislature. (N. d).”More detailed information about the Legislative Process”. State of Nevada. Retrieved from https://www.leg.state.nv.us/General/AboutLeg/Detail/index.html
Accessed 10 Dec 2017.
Nevada State. (N .d).The Constitution of the State of Nevada. State of Nevada. Retrieved from https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Const/NVConst.html.Accessed 10 Dec 2017.
O.N.E. (N. d).Responsibilities of the Nevada Legislature and Term Limits. Online Nevada Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/responsibilities-nevada-legislature-and-term-limits
Pooja. (N .d).System of Recall: Advantages and Disadvantages of Recall System. Political Science notes. Retrieved from https://www.politicalsciencenotes.com/articles/system-of-recall-advantages-and-disadvantages-of-recall-system/326
The Constitution Center. (N. d.).The Constitution of the United States. Constitutioncenter.Org. Retrieved from https://constitutioncenter.org/media/files/constitution.pdf.Accessed 10 Dec 2017.
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