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State of New Mexico

Judicial Selection in the States: New Mexico

Overview

News

A plan to bring back partisan races for North Carolina s Supreme Court and Court of Appeals cleared the House Elections Committee yesterday. HB 8...

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Judges of the Delaware Supreme and Chancery Courts are currently allowed to reside from any of the three counties that make up the state (Kent,...

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I mentioned back in February the unique dichotomy between North Carolina and West Virginia s legislatures in terms of judicial elections. Every effort West Virginia...

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Courtesy of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of...

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The New Mexico judiciary consists of a supreme court, a court of appeals, a district court, and various trial courts of limited jurisdiction. New Mexico judges were originally chosen in partisan elections, but in 1988, voters approved a constitutional amendment creating a hybrid system of judicial selection that includes merit selection, partisan elections, and retention elections. When a judicial vacancy occurs, the appropriate nominating commission recommends qualified candidates to the governor, and the governor makes an appointment. At the next general election, a contested partisan election is held to fill the seat for the remainder of the term. The successful candidate runs in retention elections thereafter. The threshold for retention is higher in New Mexico than in most other states; judges must receive at least 57% in affirmative votes to be retained.