New Mexico’s highest court is the New Mexico Supreme Court. The court has four justices and one chief justice. The chief justice is appointed according to the same procedures as the associate justices. (Source: New Mexico Constitution)
The governor appoints New Mexico Supreme Court justices from a list provided by a judicial nominating commission. An appointed justice must compete in a partisan election during the first general election after appointment. If elected, the justice serves the remainder of the seat’s eight-year term. At the end of that term, justices may stand in an unopposed yes/no retention vote. If retained by at least 57 percent affirmative votes, the justice serves another eight-year term. Justices may stand for additional terms in the same retention process. To fill an interim vacancy, the governor appoints a candidate from a list provided by a judicial nominating commission. An appointed justice serves until the next general election, where multiple candidates may vie for the seat in a partisan election. The elected judge serves the remainder of the unexpired term. There are no term limits, nor is there a mandatory retirement age.
New Mexico’s first and only state constitution was adopted in 1911. As of January 1, 2022, it had 174 amendments. (Source: Council of State Governments)
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