Jesse Rutledge
National Center for State Courts

Mari N. St. Martin
Office of Governor Brian Sandoval

State court leaders meet with Nevada Governor to focus on opioid crisis

Williamsburg, Va., January 26, 2018 — State court leaders from across the county will gather at a national meeting in Henderson, Nevada on January 27. The National Judicial Opioid Task Force will hold a daylong meeting to gather information from those on the frontlines of the national opioid crisis. The task force will also hear remarks from the Governor of Nevada, Brian Sandoval. Governor Sandoval is the President of the National Governors Association (NGA) and a national leader in addressing the opioid epidemic.

Governor Sandoval brings a multi-disciplinary perspective to address the task force, having served in all three branches of government, including time as both a state and federal judge. As Governor of Nevada, he has convened the Governor’s Opioid State Action Accountability Task Force and the Prescription Drug Summit Planning Committee.

The National Judicial Opioid Task Force is meeting in conjunction with the winter meeting of the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ), which is the association of the top judicial leaders from the 50 states, D.C., and the U.S. territories. Governor Sandoval will also deliver welcome remarks to the assembled Chief Justices at its opening ceremonies in Henderson on January 28.

The judicial branch task force includes the following objectives:

  • Convening representatives from state and federal government and key national organizations to share existing strategies and identify unmet needs.
  • Creating partnerships with entities addressing the impact of opioids on children, with specific emphasis on foster care, assisting state courts in developing opioid task forces, and working with existing state task forces to make recommendations for local response efforts.
  • Developing guiding principles that state courts can use for successful collaboration among treatment providers, criminal justice systems, and child welfare agencies.
  • Creating a checklist of state legislation, policy, and court rules that aid or inhibit response efforts.

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush and Tennessee State Court Administrator Deborah Taylor Tate lead the National Judicial Opioid Task Force as co-chairs. Other task force members from CCJ include Chief Justice Mark Cady of Iowa, Chief Justice Judith Nakamura of New Mexico, and Chief Justice Paul Reiber of Vermont. Additional task force members from the Conference of State Court Administrators (COSCA) include Michael Buenger of Ohio, Nancy Dixon of Kansas, and Corey Steel of Nebraska. The January 27 meeting of the executive committee will include testimony from judges, law enforcement officers, and leading medical and academic experts on substance abuse and mental health.

Financial support for the task force comes from the State Justice Institute (SJI). The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) is providing staffing support.

The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a nonprofit court organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. Founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and Chief Justice of the United States Warren E. Burger, NCSC provides education, training, technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts.


National Center for State Courts, 300 Newport Avenue, Williamsburg, VA  23185-4147