The Supreme Court of Nevada Justices
Nevada can count many illustrious men and women among its justices. Justice William H. Beatty, whose father H.O. Beatty was a member of the first Court elected, served as one of the first district court judges in the state and went on to serve many years as the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court. Justice J. Neely Johnson had been governor of California before coming to Nevada. Three justices have represented Nevada in Congress: Patrick McCarran and William A. Massey as Senators, and Cliff Young as a Congressman.
Thomas Hawley and Frank Norcross later became federal district court judges, and President Eisenhower appointed Charles M. Merrill to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The first woman justice, Justice Miriam Shearing, was elected to the court in 1992, after having served as a district court judge in Clark County.
The first Supreme Court had quarters in rented space on the second floor of Abraham Curry's former Great Basin Hotel, which was shared with other state offices and county government. The Carson City Courthouse now occupies the site of the hotel, at the corner of Carson and Musser Streets. In 1871, the Court moved into chambers in the newly completed State Capitol building, where it continued to sit for the next sixty-six years.
On September 13, 1937, the Court moved with great pomp and ceremony across Carson Street to its own Supreme Court and Library building. This art deco style building, designed by Frederic J. DeLongchamps, was constructed at a total cost of $160,000, which included furnishings.
After more than fifty years, a new building was designed to accommodate the Court well into the next century. Located on the east side of Carson Street, between the Capitol and Legislative Building, the Court sits adjacent to a new State Library and Archives building, where most of the Court's historic records are housed.