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Patricio Serna

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Patricio Serna
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Court Information:
New Mexico Supreme Court
Title:   Former justice
Active:   1996-2012
Chief:   2001-2002
Past position:   New Mexico First Judicial District Court
Past term:   1985-1996
Past position:   Judge
Personal History
Party:   Democratic
Undergraduate:   College of St. Joseph
Law School:   University of Denver Law School
Grad. School:   Harvard Law School

Patricio M. Serna was a justice on the New Mexico Supreme Court. He won a seat on the court on November 6, 1996 in a partisan election.[1] His final term would have ended in 2016, but he retired from the court on August 31, 2012.[2]


Serna received his B.S. in Business Administration from the College of St. Joseph and his J.D. from the University of Denver Law School. He also has a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School.[3]


Serna was appointed to the First District Court in 1985. He served in this capacity until his election to the New Mexico Supreme Court in 1996. In addition to being a judge, Serna has been an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law School and Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America.[3][4]

Awards and associations

  • One of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in America, Hispanic Business Magazine
  • Judge of the Year Award, National Hispanic Bar Association
  • Outstanding Lawyer Award, New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association
  • President and Moderator, National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts



In 2008, Serna was retained with 72.9% of the vote.[5]


In 2000, Serna was retained with 74% of the vote.[6]


Serna narrowly defeated opponent Harris L. Hartz in his quest for the Supreme Court.

  • Serna - 252,464 or 48% of the vote
  • Hartz - 248,350 or 47% of the vote[7]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology 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 are more liberal. Serna received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -1.05, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is less liberal than the average CF score of -1.18 that justices received in New Mexico. 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). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[8]

See also

External links