Veterans In Politics International Supports Clark County District Court Judge Elissa Cadish to the Federal Bench

Immediate Release:

Steve Sanson President of Veterans In Politics International 702 283 8088

Karen Steelmon Auxiliary Director for Veterans In Politics International 702 238 5134


Veterans In Politics International Supports Clark County District Court Judge Elissa Cadish to the Federal Bench


Veterans In Politics International Supports Clark County District Court Judge Elissa Cadish to the Federal Bench Las Vegas, Nevada In 2008 Veterans In Politics International (VIPI) endorsed 22 judicial candidates in the primary; only 4 candidates did not become a judge. This is the same year we endorsed District Court Judge Elissa Cadish; Judge Cadish was one of 18 of our endorsed recipients that is a sitting judge today.

We take pride in our selection of candidates especially when it comes to our judges. Judges are the first line of defense and they immediately impact our daily lives.

Judge Cadish was appointed to the District Court seat by former Republican Governor Jim Gibbons to replace former District Court Judge Joe Bonaventure. Since Judge Caddish has taken the bench we have always had a VIPI member sit in her courtroom periodically to observe her, as we do with all sitting judges.


As a jurist, Judge Cadish consistently demonstrates fairness, impartiality, and a dedication to upholding the law – regardless of whether she agrees with it. Such a demeanor, coupled with respectful deference to the legislative process is the hallmark of a competent, qualified jurist, and is the antithesis of an “activist judge”, which Republicans have long decried.


Thus, it is ironic to say the least that Republican US Senator Dean Heller is now blocking Judge Cadish’s federal judicial nomination because she insisted on following the law.


Specifically, in May, 2008, Citizens for Responsible Government asked Judge Cadish a question concerning the Second Amendment: “Do you believe the individual citizen has a constitution right to keep and bear arms?”


She responded: “I do not believe that there is this constitutional right. Thus, I believe that reasonable restrictions may be imposed on gun ownership in the interest of public safety. Of course, I will enforce the laws as they exist as a judge.”


This was a correct statement of law. At the time, individual citizens did not have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms and thus, reasonable restrictions could be imposed on gun ownership in the interest of public safety. Therefore, Judge Cadish’s response demonstrated that she was well-versed and knowledgeable in this important area of the law. Moreover, she indicated she would “enforce the law as they exist.” In other words, Judge Cadish not only understood the law, but affirmed she would apply it, regardless of her personal opinion.


Later, the law changed. In District of Columbia v. Heller, and McDonald v. City of Chicago, the United States Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearm and that this right is fundamental and fully applicable to the states through incorporation in the Fourteenth Amendment.


After the Hellerand McDonald decisions, Judge Cadish again confirmed that she would be bound by the law, not personal opinion and as such, if asked the same question today, she would respond: “I believe that there is a constitutional right for individuals to keep and bear arms and I would make clear that I would faithfully apply the binding precedent on this issue starting with the Hellerand McDonalddecisions, if faced with an issue regarding these important Second Amendment rights.”


In short, in both responses Judge Cadish confirmed her commitment to upholding the law.


Now, in a sadly transparent attempt at political pandering that needlessly deepens the partisan divides that already paralyze our federal government US Senator Heller has blocked Judge Cadish’s congressional confirmation. And ironically, he is now forced to justify his position by arguing that, when asked about the individual right to bear arms, Judge Cadish should have assumed activist robes and held that, contrary to law, such a right did in fact exist. In other words, Senator Heller must attempt to argue with a straight face that Judge Cadish is not qualified to be a federal judge because she understands the law and will uphold it.


Unfortunately, US Senator Heller is not just sacrificing his own credibility among voters and true conservatives, but is selfishly denying his own constituents the benefits of a qualified, accomplished, universally respected federal judge. And that’s what is truly disappointing.


In fact, evidenced that Judge Cadish had a thorough understanding of the constitutional issues and personal freedoms

In a letter the VIPI obtained written by Judge Cadish to US Senator Harry Reid states the following:


“You have asked for clarification regarding my response to a question in a questionnaire from Citizens for Responsible Government which I completed on May 8, 2008. The question asked, “I want to assure you that I was not giving my personal opinion on this question. Rather, this response was based on my understandings of the state of federal law at the time. To the extent the law was unsettled in this area; I also indicated that, as a judge, I would follow the law. Subsequently, As a result, if asked the same question today.

By reading the above letter from Judge Caddish apparently the law in 2008 indicates “no constitutional right to bear arms” and now in 2012 the law has changed. Judge Caddish made it clear that it’s not her personal position either way all she would be doing is enforce the law as it is written.

VIPI members believe in the “constitution” and the “right to bear arms”, a majority of VIPI members has Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) permits; we would not have endorsed Judge Caddish in 2008 if it was our understanding that she was against gun ownership.

We don’t understand how a freshman appointed US Senator could stop a federal appointment from a Majority Whip elected US Senator and the President of the United States.

Judge Caddish should not be used as a political pawn to gain conservative votes on falsehoods. Judge Caddish appointment should be allowed to move forward.





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