Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Court asked to deny Mitchell's judge application


November 20, 2014

Staff Writer

A committee that helped oust Tenth District Court Judge Albert Mitchell from the bench has asked the state supreme court to ensure Mitchell cannot fill the vacancy himself.

Voters on Nov. 4 chose not to retain Mitchell after a campaign led by a group calling itself The Committee for Law and Order.

Allowing Mitchell to apply to fill the vacancy created by the voters, “makes a mockery of the entire judicial retention system,” reads a petition filed Wednesday.

The committee’s treasurer, Pamela Clark, filed the petition through its attorney, Warren Frost of Logan.

While Mitchell said he is still studying the writ, he intends to apply for the vacancy created by his ouster.

Mitchell needed 57 percent approval to retain his seat in the Nov. 4 general election; he received just under 50 percent.

Mitchell has said, however, the state constitution does not prevent him from applying to keep his job.

Mitchell has also said Gov. Susana Martinez has re-appointed three judges who had failed to be retained by voters.

In the petition, the committee wrote, “Allowing Judge Mitchell to apply for the vacancy created by his own non-retention” violates the constitution. The law’s intent, the petition said, “is to not retain judges who have failed to receive 57 percent of the vote.”

Further, the petition stated, “Allowing judge Mitchell to apply defeats the will of the voters of the Tenth Judicial District.”


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