A very secretive political action committee made up of political cronies is now at the root of a judiciary gone
wild in New Mexico.
The Judicial Standards Commission of the State of New Mexico (JSC), created by amending the Constitution of New
Mexico, was supposed to prevent graft and corruption in the judiciary in New Mexico. It was also supposed to make
sure that judges carried out fair, independent, unbiased and impartial justice. It didn't work. The JSC is
nothing more than a political organization - or political action committee - made up of politically-appointed
political cronies with too much power over the judiciary in New Mexico. Its existance has politicized the
judicial system and caused the judiciary to lose its fairness and independence in New Mexico. The system of
justice in New Mexico is now under the absolute control of politicians and political attorneys. Rather than being fair,
unbiased, independent and impartial, judges in New Mexico now have to make sure that their judicial decisions do not
upset the members of the Judicial Standards Commission. They do not want to face the rath of the JSC by making decisions
that the JSC does not agree with. After all, the JSC excerts a lot of influence over the Supreme Court which presumably
has superintending control over the New Mexico judiciary. Keep in mind that Supreme Court justices can also be investigated
and removed by the JSC.
Another Political Action Committee made up of political cronies overseeing the judiciary in New Mexico
The Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission (JPEC), another politically-appointed political action group, intimidates
judges to the point that they have become worthless in their capacity as judges. The JPEC sends out questionaires to
attorneys, law clerks, legal assistants, clerical workers, court clerks, law librarians and their fellow judges asking for
them to evaluate the performance of the judges. Disgruntled former employees of the judges and upset attorneys who have
appeared before the judges are given the opportunity to "evaluate" these same judges. The JPEC crosses the
line by interviewing the former law clerks of judges. At election time, the JPEC endorses some judicial candidates
and opposes others in the same manner as any other political action committees. Judges are more interested in "impressing"
the JPEC and the JSC than in delivering fair, independent, unbiased and impartial justice.
Scrutiny might change judicial discipline process in the Judiciary in New Mexico.
The increase in the Judicial Standards Commission’s funding, powers and activities has led to scrutiny that could result in changes to the system for holding judges accountable
to the Code of Judicial Conduct.
This is the third in a series of articles by Haussamen that examine whether the judicial
discipline process is fair to judges accused of misconduct. For additional articles and more information, visit the home page
for this special report by clicking here.
This article, like all posted
on Heath Haussamen on New Mexico Politics, is copyrighted (© 2006) by Haussamen Publications, Inc., and is not to be republished without