A federal district court judge is ordering an expedited timeline in a lawsuit seeking to block Republican-led efforts to recall three state senators, indicating that an answer could come before the end of the month.
In an order filed on Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge James Mahan ordered both parties in the lawsuit challenging the legal basis behind recall efforts targeting state Sens. Patricia Farley, Joyce Woodhouse and Nicole Cannizzaro to expedite their responses to a motion to dismiss and request for preliminary injunction filed so far in the case, and set a date for oral arguments on Nov. 29.
“After reviewing the circumstances of this motion, this court finds that expedited briefing is necessary to resolve the issue before the court before November 30, 2017,” he wrote in the order.
The suit, which was filed in mid-October by former Hillary Clinton presidential campaign attorney Marc Elias and former Nevada Democratic Party general counsel Bradley Schrager against state and Clark County election officials, seeks to block the recall efforts amid several arguments that recalling the state senators would violate the federal Voting Rights Act and the rights of voters who elected them to regular, four-year terms.
Elias and Schrager filed a request for a preliminary injunction to block the elections earlier this week. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, representing county Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria, on Wednesday filed a motion to dismiss the case over a lack of jurisdiction.
The order lays out an expedited timeline for required responses to the preliminary injunction and motion to dismiss over the next two weeks ahead of the scheduled date for oral arguments.
Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske verified last Friday that the recall petitioners targeting Woodhouse had turned in enough signatures to trigger a special election. Efforts to recall Farley fell short this week, as backers turned in less than a third of the signatures needed to qualify a special election to replace the Republican-turned-Independent state senator.
Petitions to recall Cannizzaro are due Tuesday, and will require more than 14,975 signatures to qualify.