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October 3, 2010 / jimnv

Supreme Court Pay Raises

The Supreme Court is a separate branch of government and it does things differently and in their own way. A justice’s salary is based on timing of when they are elected and what the salary was at the time. To make sure every judge gets paid the same, they have found a way to add income for lower paid justices and uses a “pay for extra duties” loop-hole. For a good article in the Nevada Appeal click here.

One justice rationalized what they were doing by saying the judges do a lot of extra work and the salary scheme they came up with solves this pay inequity.

Hmm.. the average state employee makes about $44,000 and has had their salary frozen and must take a pay cut through furloughs. Then they must work harder with fewer co-workers. A few years ago there were about 21,000 regular employees and there are now 17,000 or a 21 percent reduction in the workforce.

Technically those who work for the Judicial and Legislative branches are state employees but the rules don’t necessarily apply to them such as furloughs and pay cuts. Laws and politics insulates them from the realities of the budget crisis. This is morally wrong, sneaky and should also be illegal.

The legislature needs to remove the judge’s “pay for extra duties” loop-hole. I expect more from our Supreme Court other than saying what they are doing is legal. Yes it’s legal because they wrote the law to circumvent the constitution. How lame is that argument?

Reference: “The Number of State Employees“, February 18, 2010.

Update: My earlier posts about judges in Nevada: “Double-dipping Judges of Nevada” ( January 19, 2009) and “Must be Great to be a Judge in Nevada!” (January 8, 2009)

This post is all about the sneaky way the justices got a pay raise. It is unbecoming of a justice or any state employee. I will NEVER stop criticism of the Judicial branch until it is totally transparent and honest with Nevadans.
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15 Comments

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  1. Cry me a river . . . / Oct 5 2010 8:38 am

    “To say or imply the court could or would throw state employees under the bus is surprising.”

    Why is it surprising? I said the court could. I never said they would. In fact, I said the opposite. The court has gone to great lengths to protect its employees and rather than celebrate that fact, you attack them for it. I’m just pointing out your hypocrisy.

    • jimnv / Oct 5 2010 1:14 pm

      Your comments about possible Supreme Court action against state employees is a threat and it sounds like you are talking on behalf of the Court. Are you speaking for the Court in this matter? Please describe the actions the Court plans or could take against employees.

      • Cry me a river . . . / Oct 5 2010 1:54 pm

        You really are dense! I mean REALLY! A threat?!? Where did you read that?

        All I said was that the Supreme Court could have treated ITS OWN EMPLOYEES (who are obviously state employees) poorly and allowed them to suffer the full brunt of the current economic situation. But they didn’t. They protected the STATE EMPLOYEES who work for them. And your panties are in a bunch because the executive branch leadership was unable to do the same.

        This whole “discussion” boils down to the fact that you get angry when some state employees have leaders who care about them and work to protect them, while others are led by miserable excuses for human beings who lack the brains and desire to do so. Rather than attack the good leaders, you should applaud them for doing what the others, like our pathetic excuse for a governor, was unable to do.

        And no, I do not in any way speak for the court.

      • jimnv / Oct 5 2010 2:03 pm

        Defensive and shrill.

      • jimnv / Oct 5 2010 2:32 pm

        My blog is not about the Court … out of 263 posts since January 2009 only a few have discussed or mentioned it. Your comments have been great and have enjoyed them but this old phrase some to mind:

        “Arguing with an attorney/blogger is like wrestling with a pig; after a while, you realize the pig is enjoying it.”

        I was able to draw you out and get some interesting responses. I might use some of your comments as a future post but then there are the elections coming up, the next legislative session, their antics, more lies and BS from politicians etc., etc. But, you just never know though!

        BTW: I certainly agree with you about the current governor and I look forward to writing about the next one.

  2. Cry me a river . . . / Oct 4 2010 1:44 pm

    The namecalling was just a gratuitous afterthought. But you do seem pretty ignorant about this issue. And you don’t seem to be able to respond to anything else.

    And if you are going to hold the court accountable for “EVERYTHING,” why does that only include the things with which you disagree? Do you just hate lawyers?

    Perhaps as an advocate for state employees you should be happy that one branch of government has consistently limited its spending. Where are all the posts about how many millions of dollars the Court has reverted to the state general fund? Why are you angry that one branch of government has worked hard to protect its employees from the unfair attacks that they are facing. The judicial branch should be appauded for not throwing state workers under the bus. But no, you elect to get angry that the legislature found a way to equalize the justices’ salaries SEVERAL YEARS AGO.

    I guess that’s rational . . .

    • jimnv / Oct 4 2010 2:19 pm

      All agencies must be held accountable. No exceptions and that includes the Supreme Court. Just because a law was passed and a commission created does not make it right.

      I am also annoyed with the Legislative branch which has exempted itself from furloughs during the next session. My previous posts clearly shows my hostility toward the executive branch, particularly the governor.

      Hate lawyers… no… they are annoying. I write about what I read, see and hear. Right now, it’s about the Supreme Court, an hour from now or next week it will be about something else. I don’t really care to write about attorneys.

      Most if not all agencies have limited spending and reverted money to help balance the budget. The Supreme court is not special in that regard.

      “Applauding the Court for not throwing the state employee under the bus”. Really? I would like to see the Court throw state employees or even one employee “under the bus” as you suggest they could and see what happens. I would love to write about THAT. So would the mainstream press.

      • Cry me a river . . . / Oct 4 2010 3:19 pm

        The Supreme Court reverted money to the state general fund PRIOR to this fiscal crisis, and then when it began they reverted millions more than was asked of them. Where was your post on that?

        Your expression of skepticism that the Supreme Court could throw any state employees under the bus ignores the fact that the court’s employees ARE state employees. And I’ll bet you would love to see them suffer. You clearly want everyone else to be as miserable as you are.

      • jimnv / Oct 4 2010 4:48 pm

        I only want the justices to be publicly scrutinized. That’s not too much to ask of public servants, elected or not.
        I feel for all regular state employees, especially those in classified service who usually get dumped on by those who are unclassified, appointed or elected. It’s a power trip I have seen too often.

        However, I skeptical of you. To say or imply the court could or would throw state employees under the bus is surprising. Do your bosses the Supreme Court justices know how you feel? I don’t think they would even if they could. Maybe you would though. Now that I am thinking about it, I am SURE you would.

        I am not miserable, quite happy actually but I know many state employees who miserable and frightened because of the way they are treated. I must say dealing with attorneys can make me cranky… maybe I am just channeling their resentment and frustration.

  3. Cry me a river . . . / Oct 4 2010 11:45 am

    Your blog says “Unite to set things right!” But what do you do? You spend half of your time attacking the other branches of government. Maybe you didn’t realize this, but they are also state employees.

    • jimnv / Oct 4 2010 12:31 pm

      I am attacking the Supreme Court itself and it must be held absolutely accountable for everything it does… I mean EVERYTHING.

      You are probably an attorney beholding to the Court for your job and as an attorney. Pitiful, really and makes my point about the court in the first place!

      Calling me names will not get you anywhere. It is unbecoming as an attorney and employee of the Supreme Court.

  4. jimnv / Oct 4 2010 10:37 am

    The post dealt with the sneaky way the justices got more money because they thought they were underpaid. The way they did it was just plain sneaky and un-becoming to a supreme court justice or any state employee.

    Because of this, the judicial branch will never be left out of it. Never.

    • Cry me a river . . . / Oct 4 2010 11:41 am

      I guess if by sneaky you mean with the common knowledge of everyone (it’s part of the NRS), and by justices you mean the legislature (which actually created the Commission on Law Libraries), you would be correct. Ignoramus.

      Why don’t you find something better to do than complain that people with more brains and success than you also make more money than you did. Or maybe try to address the FACTS that were included in my comment.

  5. Cry me a river . . . / Oct 4 2010 9:26 am

    The justices are not “average” state employees, so why compare them? OF COURSE a justice of the Nevada Supreme Court is better off than some yahoo working a DMV window. I wonder why that is? **sarcasm**

    These seven people are the head of the judicial branch and they could all make more money in private practice. The continued jealousy of those who have accomplished more with their lives than you is pathetic and unbecoming.

    Not to mention, you are flat wrong if you believe that those in the judicial branch are insulated from the realities of the budget crisis. That is simply not true. Our pay is frozen. Our longevity pay has been taken away. We are unable to afford employee training. And as you always seem to ignore, our budget was slashed by the legislature and THAT is why we are not furloughing.

    The fact is that the executive branch is where all the money goes and where the bloat (to the extent that there is any) occurs. The judicial branch accounts for less than one percent (.74% to be exact) of the state general fund. So quit your bitching. The judicial branch returned millions of dollars to the state general fund over the last several fiscal years and how are we repaid? With complaints and hatred because this branch of government has real leadership that knows how to deal with a crisis and has been able to cut its budget in a way that does not require punishing its employees for circumstances that are not their fault.

    Of the three branches of government, we are the LAST one that should be under attack right now. The executive (where all the money is spent) and the legislative (where the budgeting is done) are where the blame lies. Leave us the hell out of it.

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