Nevada Supreme Court Keeps Redistricting Ballot Initiative Off 2024 Ballot

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nevada voters will not vote on if the state will establish an independent redistricting committee after a ruling from the Nevada Supreme Court today. 

The unanimous decision from the Nevada Supreme Court affirms a lower court order from March that disqualified the ballot initiative. 

The challenged two ballot initiatives, proposed by Fair Maps Nevada PAC, would have established a seven-member independent redistricting commission that would draw congressional and legislative districts for future elections. The Legislature currently draws, and will continue to draw, the state’s maps.

A voter filed two lawsuits arguing that the ballot initiatives violate the Nevada Constitution because creating an independent redistricting commission would require government spending, but the initiative does not provide how funds would be raised. One lawsuit also alleged that one petition — which would have established a redistricting commission starting in 2027— did not include a statement explaining that the ballot initiative would result in mid-cycle redistricting and undo the maps drawn by the Legislature.

On March 6, the trial court agreed with the voter and held that because the ballot initiatives would require spending and the state would not generate revenue, they are unconstitutional. “The Petitions would create a new government body, the Commission, and mandate that it undertake legislative redistricting, subject to detailed procedural and substantive requirements. Complying with these requirements will invariably require government expenditures. And the Petitions undeniably do not raise any revenue,” the trial court concluded.

Ultimately, the state’s high court found that the trial court properly blocked the petition from proceeding. The court found that the evidence below and “common sense tell us that the creation and maintenance of a new Redistricting Commission will require an expenditure of money.”

With this order, redistricting power will remain with the Legislature. 

Read the opinion here.

Learn more about the cases here.