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State of New Mexico

Methods of Judicial Selection: New Mexico

Retention Evaluation Programs

The judicial performance evaluation commission was created in 1997 to improve judicial performance and to provide voters with information about judges standing for retention. The fifteen-member commission consists of seven lawyers and eight nonlawyers who are appointed by the supreme court from nominations by the governor, chief justice of the supreme court, speaker of the house, president pro tempore, house minority leader, senate minority leader, and president of the state bar.

Judges are evaluated at the midpoint of their terms and before each retention election. Evaluations are based on a self-assessment, surveys of those who have come into contact with the judge, and a personal interview. For appellate court judges, surveys are sent to lawyers, law clerks, law professors, court staff, and other judges. Surveys for trial court judges are sent to lawyers, jurors, court staff, and resource personnel, such as law enforcement officers, probation officers, and social workers. Midterm evaluation reports are not released to the public, but evaluations conducted prior to retention elections are posted on the commission's web site, published in state newspapers, and made available at county clerk offices. Click here for the 2010 results.