New Mexico Judicial Standards Amendment, Constitutional Amendment 1 (2012)

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Constitutional Amendment 1
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Article 6, Section 32
Referred by:New Mexico State Legislature
Topic:Judicial reform
Status:Approveda
The New Mexico Judicial Standards Amendment, also known as Constitutional Amendment 1, was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 6, 2012 ballot in the state of New Mexico, where it was approved.

The measure added two members to the Judicial Standards Commission by changing the New Mexico Constitution to mandate this. The commission investigates allegations against judges, conducts hearings, and also recommends sanctions to the New Mexico Supreme Court.[1]

Election results

See also: 2012 ballot measure election results

The following are official election results:

New Mexico Constitutional Amendment 1 (2012)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 398,723 60.22%
No263,41839.78%

Results via New Mexico Secretary of State.

Text of measure

Ballot language

The language that voters saw on the ballot read as follows:[2]

A Joint Resolution Proposing An Amendment To Article 6, Section 32 Of The Constitution Of New Mexico To Provide For Two Additional Members To Sit On The Judicial Standards Commission, A Municipal Judge And A Public Member.

For ____________

Against ____________[3]

Constitutional changes

New Mexico Judicial Standards Amendment, constitutional text changes

If approved by voters, the measure would amend Article 6, Section 32 of the New Mexico Constitution.

Support

The following are arguments that were made in support of the measure. The information below was obtained from the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos:

  • "Municipal judges represent the largest category of judges in the state, and yet there is no dedicated slot for a municipal judge on the commission. Adding a municipal judge to the commission provides equal representation on the oversight body that monitors their job performance."
  • "It is unfair for complaints regarding a municipal judge’s job performance to be resolved solely by people who lack the current, firsthand experiences and views of a municipal judge. Thus, adding a municipal judge as a member of the Commission increases fairness."
  • "Adding a municipal judge and a citizen member would retain the current balance of power on the Commission. This change would ensure that views of municipal judges would be heard along with those of the other judges, attorneys, and citizen members. This is especially important when a municipal judge is the subject of a complaint alleging.

misconduct."

Opposition

The following are arguments that have been made in support of the measure. The information below was obtained from the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos:[4]

  • Adding two more members to the Commission, for a total of 13, would make its work unnecessarily difficult. It is always challenging to reach consensus when more people are involved in a process. All disciplinary recommendations of the Commission require a majority consensus. It is not in the best interests of the citizenry to slow down the judicial oversight process.
  • A Constitutional Amendment is unnecessary because such changes could be accomplished by amending current law through the Legislature instead of permanently changing the Constitution. A bill requiring that a municipal judge be a member of the Commission could be passed by the Legislature.

Path to the ballot

According to Article XIX of the New Mexico Constitution, it takes a majority vote of all members of both houses of the New Mexico State Legislature to refer a proposed amendment to the ballot.

See also

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References