Can the Governor reappoint a judge who lost his retention election?

Tomorrow at 2:30 p.m., the New Mexico Supreme Court will hear argument on a petition to nullify Governor Martinez’s reappointment of Judge Albert Mitchell of the Tenth Judicial District Court, according to this report by Steven Hansen of the Clovis News Journal.

Judge Mitchell failed to obtain sufficient votes in the November 4 election to be retained in office. But he immediately applied to the Judicial Nominating Commission to fill the post, which recommended him and a former judge, Don Schutte, to Governor Martinez.

I haven’t seen the briefs, but presumably the Supreme Court will be asked to decide whether it was proper for the Judicial Nominating Commission, and Governor Martinez to appoint, a candidate who was just rejected by the voters.


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