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New Mexico vets applicants for Supreme Court vacancies

January 10, 2019
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A nominating commission interviews Supreme Court candidate Shannon Bacon, right, an Albuquerque-based district judge, at the Supreme Court in Santa Fe, N.M., Thursday, Jan. 10, 2018 The commission is delivering its recommendations for replacing two recently retired justices to Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who will have 30 days to make her appointments. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Candidates to replace two retired members of the New Mexico Supreme Court by appointment of the governor are being vetted by a nominating commission.

The nominating commission interviewed candidates and heard public comments Thursday at the Supreme Court. Applicants include former U.S. Attorney Damon Martinez, Administrative Office of the Courts Director Arthur Pepin and several state district court judges.

Once nominations are made, Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will appoint replacements for recently retired Justices Charles Daniels and Petra Maes. The appointed justices will stand for election in 2020 to serve out the remainder of terms that end in 2026.

Democratic Justice Michael Vigil won election to the state’s highest court in November against a Republican incumbent. Vigil joined Justices Judith Nakamura and Barbara Vigil.

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