Not a very good day for Steven Brooks. Today, on a voice vote, the Nevada Assembly became the first House of the Nevada Legislature in history to expel a member from office. It required a two-thirds majority vote of all 42 members. This has been an arduous process for all involved–legislators, Brooks, his family, the media, and his constituents. I watched the floor session today. It was evident how heavily this has weighed on everyone. In my view, this is the proper result for a man who, by all public accounts, including accounts post-expulsion, needs serious help.
The Nevada Supreme Court also dismissed Brooks’ writ petition, previously blogged about here. As I noted, the petition was defective because Brooks and his attorney named the wrong respondent, the Legislature as a whole instead of just the Assembly. The en banc Court (the whole Court), in an unpublished order, unanimously agreed. Because Brooks has now been expelled, re-filing the writ to correct that deficiency would be futile because the case presented in the writ petition is now moot.
But is this saga over? Political commentators sure seem to agree it is. See this exchange I had with Steve Sebelius.
Respectfully, I have to disagree, but I’ll save that disagreement for another post. I will give a small preview, however. There is case law from another jurisdiction that held a statehouse must afford a member 14th Amendment due process before the member can be expelled. The case is compelling and startling in its parallels to what happened over the past couple of months.
Update: March 29, 2013, 7:46 a.m.
Looks like it was an even worse day than I knew. Local media is reporting that Steven Brooks was arrested last night after a high speed chase. News in Barstow, Calif., has the story. There is also apparently a video of the arrest and allegations Brooks threw a handgun from the vehicle during the chase.
Punctuates that the Assembly did the right thing by expelling him, and makes my future post about due process tone deaf. Will have to rethink it.