Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

State supreme court upholds Mitchell's re-appointment as judge


January 16, 2015

The New Mexico Supreme Court Friday upheld Gov. Susana Martinez’s re-appointment of Judge Albert Mitchell to preside over the courtrooms of the Tenth Judicial District.

The decision was unanimous among the panel of five supreme court justices and court of appeals judges who heard the case, the supreme court announced in a press release.

“The state constitution does not prohibit a nominating commission from considering, or the governor from appointing, an otherwise qualified applicant for a judicial vacancy based on the applicant's non-retention to the office in the preceding election,” a statement from the supreme court read.

The case was heard on Friday afternoon by Chief Justice Barbara Vigil, Justice Petra Jimenez Maes and Court of Appeals Judges Cynthia Fry, Michael Bustamante and Jonathan Sutin.

“I was very happy that the supreme court followed the constitution of the state of New Mexico,” Mitchell said. “I look forward to going to work as the judge of the Tenth Judicial District.”

Warren Frost, who filed the emergency petition challenging Mitchell’s appointment on Sept. 12, said he was disappointed in the supreme court’s decision upholding Mitchell’s appointment.

“More important,” he said, “the majority of voters in the 10th District have to put up with two more years of Judge Mitchell’s form of justice.”

The Tenth Judicial District includes Quay, DeBaca and Harding counties.


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