Las Vegas Sun

April 24, 2014

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Three nominated for high court

CARSON CITY -- District Judge Michael Douglas of Las Vegas and two private attorneys were nominated Thursday by the state Commission on Judicial Selection to replace the late Justice Myron Leavitt on the Nevada Supreme Court.

The commission interviewed seven applicants for the post and then forwarded the names of Douglas, Gregory E. Smith, 57, of Las Vegas and David H. Hamilton, 61, of Reno to Gov. Kenny Guinn, who will make the final selection.

The governor has to make a selection within 30 days or he is precluded from making any other state appointments until the choice is made.

The winner will serve on the court until January 2005 and would have to run in the upcoming election to retain the post.

Douglas, 55, has already announced he will be a candidate for the Supreme Court. If selected, Douglas would be the first black person to be a justice on the court.

Others who applied were Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Douglas E. Smith, 52; former state Sen. Don Ashworth, 66; former Clark County District Judge Don Chairez, 48; and private attorney Richard Prato, 53.

Smith and Ashworth have already announced they will run for one of the three positions open on the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Miriam Shearing is retiring from the court; the Leavitt seat will be open; and Justice Deborah Agosti is up for re-election.

Shearing, who headed the selection committee, said the nominations were based on the applications that included 52 questions, letters of reference, written public comments and the Thursday interview. She said all of the material would be supplied to the governor, who in the past has interviewed each nominee for a vacant judgeship.

Leavitt died in January in Las Vegas following kidney transplant surgery at the age of 73.

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