New Mexico’s legal climate needs work

At the Rio Grande Foundation, we’ve focused on economic and education policies that we believe hold New Mexico back from prosperity. There is another issue out there that, unfortunately, holds New Mexico back. It is our legal system.

We’ve seen cases over the years that New Mexico’s Courts have handed down with negative impacts on individual freedom and property rights. George Will explained one such decision recently in his nationally-syndicated column. There was, of course, the Supreme Court’s decision to ignore glaring mistakes in putting a minimum wage ballot measure on the ballots in Albuquerque. And, there is the infamous baseball decision which could lead to a dramatically-curtailed experience at Isotopes Park.

What does this all mean? According to the Institute for Legal Reform, New Mexico has the 44th-best legal climate in the nation. Interestingly-enough, our ranking for “judicial competence” is an astonishing 47th.

New Mexico has a bunch of judges on the ballot in November. It is important that voters educate themselves on these candidates and elect judges that adhere to the rule of law, not emotions and a general urge to generate their preferred outcomes in their judicial decisions.

HT: Rep. Dennis Kintigh

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8 Replies to “New Mexico’s legal climate needs work”

  1. How about we get an admission by motion provision into state bar rules? It’s bad enough that the state’s legal profession is full of sketchy characters, but then NM makes itself one of the hardest states to be admitted to if you’re a practicing attorney from another state, crystallizing the problem.

  2. Admitting lawyers from other states might introduce some competency and honesty into the state’s system. We can’t have that here. This is New Mexico. We don’t need no stinkin’ honesty or competency.

  3. I didn’t see that much of a problem at the District Court level. The big problem is at the appellate court level. 4 of the 5 justices on our Supreme Court are Dems (Paul Kennedy just appointed) . I think the Court of Appeals has about 10 judges of whom only 2 or 3 are Republicans. I have researched the issue and found that the last time Republicans held a majority on the Supreme Court was in the 1920’s. Our Court of Appeals was formed in 1966. Since founding, it has NEVER had a Republican majority.

    As long as NM continues to have single party rule at the state level, it will continue to have single party rule in our appellate courts. As long as the Dems control our appellate courts, expect anti business rulings to continue.

    I wish the general public realized how powerful our appellate courts are, and how much their decisions effect our lives.

  4. Charles, excellent points. The one party rule in New Mexico mirrors that of communist countries. Well, that figures because New Mexico is a foreign country. And yes, you are right. All but 3 on the the appeals court are Democrat-socialists. Don’t expect any non-totalitarian rulilngs out of them.

  5. “New Mexico has a bunch of judges on the ballot in November. It is important that voters educate themselves on these candidates and elect judges that adhere to the rule of law, not emotions and a general urge to generate their preferred outcomes in their judicial decisions.”

    Good luck with this Paul. In this state being a democrat is just about all your average voter cares about.

  6. Are there any good resources or websites out there for researching judges? In the past I’ve simply voted “do not retain” for all of them. It seems like every week or two there’s another story about a career criminal receiving a slap on the wrist and a lot of it appears to boil down to the judge.

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