Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 | 8:13 p.m.
CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court has agreed to give speedy consideration to a proposed initiative petition that seeks to override Nevada’s abortion laws.
Chief Justice Ron Parraguirre granted the motion of Personhood Nevada to expedite its handling of the petition that would amend the Nevada Constitution by defining a person and extending due process rights to “everyone possessing a human genome from before birth to death.”
It would define "personhood" as beginning at conception, enabling a right to life to the child in the womb.
Personhood must gather 97,200 signatures of voters by June 15 to put the issue on the November ballot.
District Judge Todd Russell of Carson City ruled in January the petition could not be circulated or put on the ballot because the language was too general and the voters would not understand the impact.
Parraguirre said the briefs in the case should start to be submitted on March 12, and the final one should be filed by April 2. No extensions will be granted, he said.
Parraguirre said the court will review the briefs and determine if oral arguments should be held.
The ACLU filed suit in November to prevent the initiative from going forward arguing the language was too vague and did not contain the words “abortion,” “birth control” or “fertilization.”
If the petition qualifies for the ballot, voters would have to approve it twice before it amended the Constitution.