Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Debunking the Myths of the Judicial Selection Commission

After reading recent articles published in the Albuquerque Journal as of late, you might think that the Judicial Selection Commission is a nonpartisan group of judges, lawyers, and lay people who represent the best interest of all the voting public. Boy! Would you be dead wrong.

The commission that picks judges is not nonpartisan but bipartisan in nature. This means the group is made-up of an equal number of democrats and republicans. Leading republicans and democrats in state government appoint these individuals, not elected, to the commission. As we, all know our leading democrats got their positions in state government by leaning to the far right of the Democratic Party in the first place.
Here is a list of the commission members who nominated candidates for the second district court this year and the names of the people who appointed them. Party officials do not appoint judges to the commission and the state bar appoints lawyers from both parties to the commission:
The Honorable Nan G. Nash
2nd Judicial District Court
Kevin Martinez, Esq.
Walter K Martinez Law office
Appointed by Speaker Ken Sanchez
Kelly Smyer
Appointed by Speaker Ken Sanchez
Patricia Williams, Esq.
Wiggins, Williams & Wiggins
Appointed by Mary K Papen
State Senator Linda Lopez
Appointed by Mary K. Papen

Clara Moran, Esq.
Appointed by State Bar


The Honorable Roderich T. Kennedy
New Mexico Court of Appeals
Robert M. Doughty, III Esq.
Appointed by Governor Martinez

Michael  Brasher
Appointed by Governor Martinez

Mary Torres, Esq.
Appointed by State Bar

Jason Bowles, Esq.
Appointed by State Bar

Robert J. Gorence
Appointed by State Bar

Also not listed as either Democrat or Republican is:             
David Herring, Dean
UNM Law School

The Honorable Edward I Chavez, Independent
New Mexico Court of Appeals

As you can see this group of Individuals is far from being nonpartisan. Two candidates have sued the Democratic Party saying that their names should be place on the ballot in November because they are democrats selected by this type of commission to be appointed by Governor Martinez until a partisan election is held. This would totally exclude any say that the voting public might have in the selection of judgeships.

I have no problem with candidates for judgeships having to prove their legal qualifications, experience, and moral ethics. However, I do have a problem with those individuals having to prove that they lean to the right.

Therefore, the next time a candidate says they should be voted for because the Judicial Selection Commission chose them, you might want to ask yourself just how far this person leans to the right.  

And the next time the Democratic Party Chairman says he approves of this selection process, you just might want to ask yourself exactly how far to the right does he lean.