03 Oct Mary Perry
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CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONSES
Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.
As with any other profession, the desire to move up towards a higher level is a natural progression. After almost 20 years representing clients in family disputes, I believe it is time for that progression. I have represented more than a thousand clients, where some have gone to trial but most have settled in a way that was fair to both parties.
I believe that I am qualified for the position, given the many years of understanding the nature of the Court case, and the law which applies in various scenarios. I also have the ability to see both sides of the argument and to discern a fair outcome, as much as possible. One could sit behind a desk for their entire career, having a “mentor”, and not obtain any necessary experience. Nothing takes the place of actual “boots on the ground” active participation in the Court process, representing the rights of individuals, and the ever evolving change of the law and public policy.
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?
I will not be an activist judge. Roe v. Wade was a very important case for a woman's right to choose and that should not be interfered with.
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?
Same sex couples should be afforded the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples are afforded. The Court reached the proper decision.
Do you believe that Brown v. Board of Education (347 U.S. 483) was correctly decided?
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.
If persons who fight to keep the LGBTQ community from being discriminated against, succeeds in court, those persons should be awarded attorneys' fees.
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?
I have not.
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?
This would not be before me, but in a Family Court context, careful consideration as to exclusive possession of the marital residence must be taken to not chance one becoming homeless so long as it is a marital residence.
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?
This issue will not be before me, but in a Family Court context I believe the immigration status of a litigant should not be something considered in deciding custody and property rights.
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.
The Nevada court rules regarding service of process on someone at the court house is not allowed, so why should ICE be allowed to detain people leaving state criminal court hearings?
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?
As these types of cases would not come before me in Family Court, I do believe more needs to be done to work with our youth before they hit the criminal stage. The Truancy Diversion Program begins when a child is in kindergarten. If a child is still in the program by middle school, something more needs to be done. More time with these children need to be invested so that hopefully they can learn there is a different life out there. Some parents may need assistance in parenting classes. When you start out parenting as a child, a person may not have the life experience to help, because discipline begins at home.
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?
In Family Court, I do not think that Proper Person litigants are given the same amount of time to explain their point of view, as the litigant who has an attorney. Each side should be given equal time to speak and argue his or her point.
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?
For the most part. I have worked with the Truancy Diversion Program and more could be done for our youth. When the judges only have maybe 5 minutes a week with each student, many slip through the cracks. When possible, more time needs to be taken with some of the worst truants who could still be diverted from the wrong decisions.
What value does cash bail bring to Nevada’s judicial system?
I do not work in this realm, but can only imagine how the poverty stricken communities would be harmed at a significantly higher rate.
In light of Nevada’s move to legalize recreational marijuana, what is your position on vacating convictions of individuals for marijuana possession?
I believe that there are many convictions on marijuana possession which should be vacated, on a case by case basis. In those cases that the convictions are vacated, sealing and/or expungement of their record should be part of the process, to allow for a full second chance to move forward.