SANTA FE ― Justices Petra Jimenez Maes and Charles W. Daniels of the New Mexico Supreme Court did not file Thursday for retention in the upcoming general election for new eight-year terms.
The justices will continue to serve on the Supreme Court. Their terms expire at the end of the year.
Because the justices did not seek retention, their positions on the Court become vacant as of Jan. 1, 2019, and will be filled through a merit selection nominating system provided for in the New Mexico Constitution.
Justice Maes was elected to the Supreme Court in 1998. She served as Chief Justice twice: 2003-2005 and 2012-2014. Before joining the Supreme Court, she was a judge on the First Judicial District Court for 17 years and previously had been a private practice attorney and worked for Northern New Mexico Legal Services. Voters retained Justice Maes on the Supreme Court in 2002 and 2010.
Justice Daniels was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2007, after a 38-year career as a lawyer with a courtroom practice in criminal and civil cases. He served as Chief Justice in 2010-2012 and 2016-2017. Justice Daniels was elected in 2008, and retained by voters in 2010.
Once vacancies exist on the Court, an independent judicial nominating commission will screen applicants and recommend candidates to the governor for possible appointment. Appointees run for partisan election in the next statewide election if they wish to remain on the Court and, if elected, are then subject to a nonpartisan retention election in the year in which their terms expire.