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State of New Mexico

Judicial Selection in the States: New Mexico

Overview

News

A plan (HB 1303) to revamp Colorado s Judicial Performance Evaluation system is set for a vote by the House this week. The plan would...

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An effort to improve voter education when it comes to judicial elections in California has cleared the Assembly Judiciary Committee. AB 1463 as amended creates...

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A constitutional amendment discussed here and here to give Delaware s governor and senate more time to consider judicial nominations cleared its final hurdle. With...

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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.