Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston listed "The courts rule" as his No. 1 political story in Nevada during 2011, citing court rulings on everything from redistricting to the CD-2 special election.
Additionally, Ralston hinted at NPRI's recently filed separation-of-powers lawsuit in Carson City's first district court, saying Judge James Todd Russell, who ruled on the redistricting and special election cases, could hear NPRI's case in 2012.
Ralston also listed "Ensign abandons ship" as his No. 2 story of the year, referring to the former senator's resignation in April. Ralston noted the domino effect of Ensign's resignation, as it led to former CD-2 congressman Dean Heller's appointment to the Senate, which gave way to the CD-2 special election won by Republican Mark Amodei.
The remainder of Ralston's list included:
3) "The budget that failed," referring to Gov. Sandoval's failed budget plan.
4) ”The masterful maps," referring to the special masters and their map plan, which resulted from the Legislature failing to pass new maps.
5) "Sandoval rising," referring to Gov. Sandoval's "superb political skills" during Session.
6) ”The end of legislative leadership," referring to the lackluster leadership (according to Ralston) of Assembly Speaker John Oceguera and Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford.
7) "The Goofy Old Party," referring to the Nevada Republican Party conceding New Hampshire’s superior role in the 2012 GOP primary/caucus cycle.
8) "Prince Harry lives and breathes (fire)," referring to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's continued influence over state politics.
9) "Marshalling a congresswoman," referring to State Treasurer Kate Marshall's unsuccessful campaign for CD-2.
10) "A Goodwoman always wins," referring to Carolyn Goodman winning the Las Vegas Mayoral election, replacing her husband, Oscar.