Two Lawsuits Try To Stop State Senate Recall Efforts


Casey Morell

The recall effort against three state senators is tied up in a couple of court battles.

First an update: The effort against State Senator Patricia Farley has failed, as the petitioners didn’t get enough signatures. 

Enough signatures – roughly 17,500 – were gathered to force State Senator Joyce Woodhouse into a recall election. But she and her attorneys say about 5,500 of those signatures are invalid. A state lawsuit has been filed on this issue.

Bradley Schrager is an attorney who filed two lawsuits on behalf of Woodhouse and some of her voters to stop the recall.

He told KNPR's State of Nevada that 3,000 of those signatures are "constitutionally ineligible," which means they don't meet the requirements needed to sign the petition in the first place.

He said the rules for signing are in place to protect the process and they include everything from having voted in the election in which the person being recalled was elected to be still be registered to vote in that district.

Schrager said as part of the lawsuit he asked that all of the signatures in the Woodhouse petition be examined. The Clark County Registrar of Voters certified the petition signatures after only looking at a sampling of 900.

He believes a similar request will eventually be made of the recall involving State Senator Nicole Cannizzaro. 

Support comes from

There are also two lists of people who want their names removed from the petition. There are two lists because there are two times within the petition process that someone can request his or her name removed from the petition. 

All of those issues will be covered in the state lawsuit. If those suits end up stopping the recall process, then there will be no need to continue with the federal lawsuit.  

The federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of five constituents of the three State Senate districts in question. The constituents contend that their constitutional rights are being violated. 

“What you’re doing with a recall is attempting rerun a legitimate election,” Schrager said.

He said a recall effort - historically - has been an extreme step to "unwind" an election because of misconduct.

"There was no grassroots swell against any of these senators," Schrager said, "No one has made allegations that they’ve done anything wrong.”

He believes it is an effort to take control of the State Legislature by the Republican Party.

“The entirety of the recall effort appears to our eyes to be mere crass and cynical political power grab," he said.

Nevada is one of a handful of states that allow 'no-fault recall,' which means lawmakers can be recalled with very little transparency or reasoning.

Schrager is concerned that a recall effort of this type could mean with enough money and resources anyone could re-run an election - if he didn't like the results.


Bradley Schrager, attorney

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