The Selection Process
The Commission membership is often not known by the Judicial Selection Office until shortly before the scheduled Commission meeting. The State Bar President, in consultation with the three judges on the Commission, usually waits until the list of applicants is known before making his/her appointments in order to avoid, if possible, appointing partners or associates of applicants. The Judicial Selection Office will notify applicants of the Commission members as soon as it has that information.
The composition of the Commission is set forth below, with our indication of the authority making the appointments to the Commission:
- Chief Justice of the Supreme Court or Designee appointed by the Chief Justice
- Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals or Designee appointed by the Chief Judge (except on Metropolitan Court Commissions)
- Chief Judge of the District Court where the vacancy exists or Designee appointed by the Chief Judge
- Chief Judge of the Metropolitan Court where the vacancy exists or Designee appointed by the Chief Judge (if a Metropolitan Court Commission)
- Attorney appointed by the Governor
- Non-Lawyer appointed by the Governor
- Attorney appointed by the Speaker of the House
- Non-Lawyer appointed by the Speaker of the House
- Attorney appointed by the President Pro Tem of the Senate
- Non-Lawyer appointed by the President Pro Tem of the Senate
In addition, attorneys are appointed by the State Bar President in consultation with the Judges on the Commission to achieve political parity among the Commissioners. The Commission membership must include an equal number of Democrats and Republicans, and should reflect diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity, and type of practice. The State Bar President, in consultation with the Judges, ensures that his/her appointments include civil plaintiff and defense lawyers as well as criminal prosecution and defense attorneys. The attorneys and lay persons serving on the Commission must reside in the judicial district where the vacancy occurs.
Once a vacancy is announced, attorneys interested in becoming Commissioners should send a letter of interest to the Chief Justice of the NM Supreme Court and the President of the State Bar of New Mexico, as well as the Chief Judge of the court where the vacancy occurs.