Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010 | 2:17 p.m.
CARSON CITY – The Nevada Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by a group seeking a constitutional amendment to ban abortions.
The court rejected the arguments of Personhood Nevada, which wanted a question on the election ballot this past November.
In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice James Hardesty, the court said the issue was moot because Personhood Nevada failed to gather the 97,000 signatures required to put the question on the ballot.
The organization already has served notice it will try to bring the abortion ban to a vote in the 2012 election.
Personhood Nevada filed an initiative petition with the Secretary of State to change the wording in the Nevada Constitution from “person” to “human being” and argued that would give the individual the protection of life, liberty and property from time of conception.
But opponents filed suit saying the initiative was defective because it contained more than one subject and its language was vague as to the consequences. Carson City District Judge Todd Russell agreed and Personhood brought an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Hardesty wrote the appeal was moot because the advocates of the petition failed to present the required signatures to the state by the June 15 deadline. Regardless of its decision, the court said it could not grant the appeal because the 2010 election is over.
“This court’s duty is not to render advisory opinions but, rather, to resolve actual controversies by an enforceable judgment,” the court said Thursday. It said since the advocates intend to bring an initiative petition in 2012, any decision by the court now would be speculative “and lead to an advisory opinion.”