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Justices are selected by both gubernatorial commission process and partisan elections.The commission recommends to the governor several candidates, and upon appointment by the governor, the judge runs in the next partisan election.
To be a qualified candidate for the supreme court, an individual must be at least 35 years old, must have practiced law for at least 10 years and must have been a resident of the state for at least three years.The state Supreme Court of New Mexico was given a campaign finance score (CFscore), which was calculated for judges in October 2012.At that time, New Mexico received a score of -1.18.Based on the justices selected, New Mexico was the most liberal court.The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature).The court may hear direct appeals in cases of life sentences or writs of habeas corpus.
Additionally, all cases from the Public Regulation Commission and election challenges.
"In its discretion, the Court may issue writs of certiorari, mandamus, prohibition, and superintending control." In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan outlook of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns.
A score above 0 indicated a more conservative-leaning ideology while scores below 0 were more liberal.
This study is not a definitive label of a justice but rather an academic gauge of various factors. No state received a grade higher than "C." Furthermore, due in part to these lax disclosure standards, the study found 35 instances of questionable gifts, investments overlapping with caseloads and similar potential ethical quandaries.
In December 2013, the Center for Public Integrity released a study on disclosure requirements for state supreme court judges. The study also noted 14 cases in which justices participated although they or their spouses held stock in the company involved in the litigation.
Analysts from the Center reviewed the rules governing financial disclosure in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as personal financial disclosures for the past three years. New Mexico lacks any statutes on same-sex relationships per se.