United States District Court for the District of New Mexico
- 1 Vacancy warning level
- 2 Active judges
- 3 Jurisdiction
- 4 Caseloads
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 History
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico is one of ninety-four United States district courts. The district operates out of courtrooms in Alburquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Roswell, N.M. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown Denver at the Byron White Federal Courthouse.
Vacancy warning level
There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico.
Article III judges
|Judge Martha Vazquez||1953||Santa Barbara, CA||Clinton||10/1/1993 - Present||2003 - 2010||Santiago Campos||University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1975||University of Notre Dame, J.D., 1978|
|Chief Judge Christina Armijo||1951||Las Vegas, NM||W. Bush||11/12/2001 - Present||10/1/2012 - Present||New Seat|114 Stat. 2762||University of New Mexico, B.A., 1972||University of New Mexico Law, J.D., 1975|
|Judge Robert Brack||1953||Lynnwood, CA||W. Bush||7/15/2003 - Present||New Seat|116 Stat. 1758||Eastern New Mexico U., B.A., 1975||University of New Mexico Law, J.D., 1978|
|Judge James O. Browning||1956||Levelland, TX||W. Bush||8/1/2003 - Present||Curtis Hansen||Yale, 1978||University of Virginia Law, J.D., 1981|
|Judge William P. Johnson||1959||Roanoke, VA||W. Bush||12/21/2001 - Present||John Conway||Virginia Military Institute, 1981||Washington and Lee U. Law, J.D., 1985|
|Judge Judith Herrera||1954||Chicago, IL||W. Bush||6/13/2004-Present||James Parker||University of New Mexico, 1976||Georgetown Law, 1979|
|Judge Kenneth John Gonzales||1964||Espanola, NM||Obama||6/17/2013||Bruce Black||University of New Mexico, B.A., 1988||U. of New Mexico Law, J.D., 1994|
Active Article III judges by appointing political party
This graph displays the percent of active judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.
|Senior Judge Curtis Hansen||H.W. Bush||10/2/1992 - 4/18/2003||4/18/2003 - Present||University of Iowa, 1956||University of New Mexico Law, 1961|
|Senior Judge James A. Parker||11/6/1987-9/1/2003||2000-2003||9/1/2003-Present||Rice University, 1959||University of Texas School of Law, 1962|
|Senior judge Bruce Black||Clinton||12/26/1995 - 10/1/2012||2010 - 2012||Albion College of Michigan, B.A., 1969||Michigan Law, J.D., 1971|
Senior judges by appointing political party
This graph displays the percent of senior judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.
|Magistrate Judge Lorenzo Garcia||11/09/1992 - Present|
|Magistrate Judge Carmen Garza||08/25/2006 - Present|
|Magistrate Judge Lourdes Martinez||04/01/2003 - Present||New Mexico State U.||University of New Mexico Law|
|Chief Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen||04/26/1999 - Present||New Mexico State U., B.A., 1973||University of New Mexico, J.D., 1985|
|Magistrate Judge William P. Lynch||04/21/2005 - Present||Northern Illinois U.||University of Illinois, J.D.|
|Magistrate Judge Gregory Wormuth||05/18/2009 - Present||Davidson College, B.S., 1992||Wake Forest U. Law, J.D., 1995|
|Magistrate Judge Stephan Vidmar||12/27/2011 - Present||United States Military Academy||University of Michigan|
|Magistrate Judge Steven C. Yarbrough||05/07/2014 - Present||Stanford, B.A.||University of New Mexico, J.D., 1995|
The District of New Mexico has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
Court is held in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Roswell, Santa Fe and Silver City.
|Federal Court Caseload Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases:||Median time(Criminal)**:||Median time(Civil)**:||3 Year Civil cases#:||Vacant posts:##||Trials/Post|
|*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September. **Time in months from filing to completion.|
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts. ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.
For a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions for the District of New Mexico.
| • US Airways case (2009)|
|Click for summary→|
|On October 9, 2009, Judge Armijo ruled in favor of the New Mexico Department of Regulation and Licensing after US Airways sued the chief licensing arm of the State of New Mexico in 2007. US Airways sued after claiming that the State of New Mexico had no jurisdiction on taking away the company's liquour licenses for on-board service on US Airways flights after the airline was cited for overserving passengers in the past. Judge Armijo found that the State of New Mexico had jurisdiction to regulate alcohol even in airspace, citing two major airline industry laws that do not exempt airlines from in-state liquor regulations.|
| • Political mailer lawsuit (2009)|
Judge(s):Judith Herrera (New Mexico Youth Organized, et. al v. Mary Herrera, 1:2008-cv-01156)
|Click for summary→|
|On August 3, 2009, Judge Herrera ruled in favor of two non-profit associations after they sued the state over requirements that they must register as political action committees. The New Mexico Youth Organized and SouthWest Organizing Project sent mailers to prospective voters as the organizations expressed criticism towards candidates in 2008. The judge ruled that the actions of the New Mexico Attorney General to require the organizations to register as PACs subjected them to a greater burden over most non-profits.|
The District of New Mexico was established by Congress on June 20, 1910, with one post to cover the entire state. Over time, six additional judicial posts were added for a total of five current posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of New Mexico:
|June 20, 1910||36 Stat. 557||1|
|September 14, 1922||42 Stat. 837||2(1 Temporary)|
|February 10, 1954||68 Stat. 8||2(1 Temporary)|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||2|
|June 2, 1970||84 Stat. 294||3|
|October 20, 1978||92 Stat. 1629||4|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||5|
|December 21, 2000||114 Stat. 2762||6|
|November 2, 2002||116 Stat. 1758||7(1 Temporary)|
Former chief judges
In order to qualify for the office of chief judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge. A vacancy in the office of chief judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a chief judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.
For more information on judges of the District of New Mexico, see former federal judges of the District of New Mexico.
- United States District Court for the District of New Mexico Official Website
- United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico Official Website
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- Associated Press, "Judge: NM can yank US Airways' liquor license," October 1, 2009
- New Mexico Independent, "Federal judge rules for nonprofits, says state action hurt their free speech," August 3, 2009
- History of the District of New Mexico on the Federal Judicial Center website
- United States Courts, "Frequently Asked Questions"
- United States Courts, "On Being Chief Judge," February 2009
|Magistrate judges||Lorenzo Garcia • Carmen Garza • Lourdes Martinez • Karen Molzen • William P. Lynch • Gregory Wormuth • Stephan Vidmar • Steven C. Yarbrough •|
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|
State of New Mexico
Santa Fe (capital)
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Secretary of Education | Superintendent of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources | Secretary of Workforce Solutions | Chairman of Public Regulation Commission |
New Mexico Supreme Court | Court of Appeals | District Courts | Magistrate Courts | Probate Courts | Bernalillo Metropolitan Court | Problem-Solving Courts | Workers' Compensation Administration Court | Judicial selection in New Mexico |