Willam Kephart

Willam Kephart

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Willam  Kephart

for Clark County District Court Department 19


Candidate contact information:

Email address: Kephart2020Election@gmail.com

Phone number: 702.281.8949

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JudgeWilliamKephart/

Twitter: N/A

Website: www.JudgeBillKephart.com 




Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.


I am running for re-election to District Court. Simply put, I love my job. I have been serving Southern Nevada for 33 years as a prosecutor and judge. This is my hometown, and I try each day to make sure our justice system if fair and just for everyone.


What are your views on the courts’ responsibility to uphold precedent on reproductive health care, particularly as it relates to Roe v. Wade and access to abortion as a constitutional right?


Since 1973, Roe vs Wade protects the rights of a women to choose. As a judge, I will uphold this right.


What are your views on “human dignity,” as applied by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Windsor (133 S. Ct. 2675), shares the same constitutional protection provided to liberty and equality rights?


The Supreme Court declared Section 3 of the DOMA unconstitutional, therefore, we recognize same-sex marriage by law.


Do you believe that Brown v. Board of Education (347 U.S. 483) was correctly decided?


Declared in 1954, I believe equal opportunity in education has served our country well in the last 66 years.


Would you honor the request of a plaintiff, defendant, or witness in a case before you who is transgender to be referred to in accordance with that person’s gender identity?




Describe your understanding of Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises (390 U.S. 400) and application of this precedent to nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in places of public accommodation.


First, I don't understand why anyone would patronize a business that discriminates. That being said, there is no place for discrimination in the law.


Have you been involved in a significant case where a primary issue was sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV/AIDs discrimination? If so, can you provide the case, venue, case number and case citation (if published decision) and your involvement?






With more and more Nevadans only one family emergency away from being unable to pay rent and maintain shelter for their loved ones, what steps would you take towards having a more equitable eviction process for Nevadans?


The laws for evictions are written and passed by the Legislature. As a judge, I have to apply those laws.


How would you ensure that criminal defendants with adverse immigration consequences attached to their cases are protected in the event the case is dismissed or otherwise resolved, so that the criminal justice system does not become a trap for the undocumented?



I preside over a state court, not federal court. Once a defendant is dismissed from my court, I have no further involvement with the case or defendant.



In recent years, we have seen Immigration and Customs Enforcement detain individuals as they are leaving criminal court hearings. Please describe your views on this practice.



Once again, this is a federal issue, not a state court issue.



What actions will you take to dismantle the school to prison and deportation pipeline? What do you see as the judiciary’s role in advancing restorative discipline practices for Nevada’s students?



The best way to keep school age kids from prison is education. Parents and the community have to do a better job of making sure kids are cared for and attend school.



What do you think is the most important issue or problem in the state’s justice system today, and how would you work to address it?



I strongly believe the biggest issue is inadequate representation. We have to do a better job in the legal profession to ensure each individual has the best representation possible.



Do you feel that existing diversion initiatives and specialty courts are effective in meeting the needs of the community? What changes would you make to improve their effectiveness?



Diversion Courts are powerful tools. I was a founder of the Veterans Court. The problem today is that Defense attorney's don't understand the courts, the benefits and the process to best serve their clients. The Defense bar needs to better prepare their attorney's to take full advantage of the specialty courts.



What value does cash bail bring to Nevada’s judicial system?



In my courtroom, I look to cash bail as a sign that the individual has either family or friends who care about them, and they have some support. It also gives me some assurance that the individual with show up for their court date.


In light of Nevada’s move to legalize recreational marijuana, what is your position on vacating convictions of individuals for marijuana possession?



At the time of the offense, it was an illegal act. If the Nevada Legislature wants to pass a law vacating those convictions, I will uphold that law.


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