Brian Fraga has this report in the Las Cruces Sun-News about a recent decision of the New Mexico Court of Appeals, upholding the Doña Ana County clerk’s decision to bar a candidate for magistrate court judge from appearing on the ballot because he is not a licensed attorney. (The opinion has not yet appeared on the websites of the New Mexico Court of Appeals or of the New Mexico Compilation Commission.).
That raises an interesting question — should a judge be required to have a law degree? People are sometimes surprised to learn that the Constitution does not require justices of the U.S. Supreme Court to have a law degree. I think most people would want a judge to have some legal knowledge, but if a U.S. Supreme Court justice does not have to have a law degree, why should lower court judges? What do you think?