Nevada Supreme Court seat G | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Supreme Court seat G

Nancy Becker
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Nancy Becker

Age: 51

Hometown: Las Vegas

Occupation: Supreme Court Justice

Family: Father Ð Bill Becker, mother Ð Margaret Becker (deceased); sister Patricia Becker; brother-in-law Steve DuCharme; brother Martin Becker; sister-in-law Vickie Becker; nephews Scott Becker and James Wilson

An appellate court is expensive but some have argued vital in winnowing the wheat from the chaff in the cases now coming to the Supreme Court as well as speeding up and improving decision making by reducing the workload on the high court. What is your opinion and why?

In most states, there is a court of appeals and a supreme court. The court of appeals handles error correction cases, for example whether evidence was properly admitted. Cases involving novel issues of law, interpretation of statutes or Constitutions are handled by a state’s supreme court. Since most cases do not involve new issues, a majority of the appellate work is done by the court of appeals, leaving the supreme court to spend more time on complex, precedent-setting cases.

In Nevada, we have no court of appeals and the Supreme Court handles both error-correction and precedent-setting cases. Because we have one of the largest caseloads per justice in the nation, this means less time can be devoted to these complex cases than in other states. It also takes us longer to process cases and we are more reliant on staff. To improve case processing and the quality of review per case, I believe we need a court of appeals.

Although there would be some added expense, the current seven-person supreme court and staffing would be reduced in size and converted to the court of appeals, so it would not be like adding a totally new court.

What sets you apart from your opponent?

Leadership, commitment, integrity and experience. I have served as the chief justice of the Nevada Supreme Court and as a chief judge of a district court. I have been a prosecutor and a civil litigator. For 10 years, I served with distinction as a district court judge receiving a 90 percent approval rating.

As a member of the supreme court, I have been instrumental in the court’s efforts to manage its caseload, one of the busiest in the nation. The court reduced its case backlog by 50 percent and significantly decreased case processing delays. I implemented new procedures such as a fast-track program for cases involving children.

Finally, we need experienced jurists who are not afraid to make tough calls. Our Constitutions were written to promote judicial decisions based upon the law and facts in an individual case. Some rulings, like the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to end segregation, are not always popular, but judges must have the commitment and courage to make such rulings. Without such traits, our judicial system could descend into a version of American Idol, where popularity and special interests, not the law, controls the outcome. I have that commitment and courage.

Contact Information:

Telephone: (702) 253-7064

E-mail: nancy@justicebecker.com

Web site: justicebecker.com

Nancy Saitta

Age: 55

Hometown: Las Vegas

Occupation: District Court Judge

Family: Married, four children, five grandchildren

Political background: Elected to City of Las Vegas Municipal Court following appointment, elected to Clark County District Court in 1998 and re-elected in 2002

An appellate court is expensive but some have argued vital winnowing the wheat from chaff in the cases now coming to the Supreme Court as well as speeding up and improving decision making by reducing the workload on the high court. What is your opinion and why?

My opponent has sat on the Nevada Supreme Court for the past 10 years and other than creating programs with fancy names, has done little to improve the efficiency of the court in processing its workload. Although the supreme court is located in Carson City, for the past 10 years, my opponent has remained living in her home in Las Vegas and working from the court’s satellite offices there, even during the years she was serving as the chief justice. Her travel and hotel expenses for her constant trips to Carson City to work are paid from the court’s budget. She would have been far more productive (and the court would have more money to process its workload) had she been willing to move to Carson City. I believe that before the expense of an appellate court is incurred by the public, the supreme court justices should consolidate their offices in Carson City so that they can function more efficiently.

What sets you apart from your opponent?

Judges make better decisions when they have a first-hand understanding of the challenges that people face in their daily lives. The incumbent does not have this experience. I believe her decisions while on the supreme court show my opponent is out of touch with lives of most Nevadans.

My opponent stresses her judicial experience. My judicial experience is identical to that of my opponent when she was first elected to the supreme court. The differences between us have given me a much better understanding of the human condition. This understanding provides a strong foundation for me to make sensible and reasoned decisions.

Contact information:

Telephone: (775) 324-7753

(702) 382-7753

Web site: http://www.nancysaitta.com