Lawsuit calls Supreme Court appointment unconstitutional

Court Judge Gavel

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – A lawsuit is disputing the appointment of District Court Judge Judith Nakamura of Albuquerque to fill a vacancy on the New Mexico Supreme Court.

Former attorney Stuart Stein, of La Cienega, says her selection is unconstitutional and that the process was illegally rushed.

Nakamura declined to comment on the litigation Friday but told the Santa Fe New Mexican (http://bit.ly/1SsAyN1) that she followed the process “to the T.”

Gov. Susana Martinez chose Nakamura, a former chief judge in Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court, to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Richard Bosson.

Stein argues starting the process before Bosson’s last day in office violated the state constitution.

Barry Massey, a spokesman for Administrative Office of the Courts, says there is no case law that outlines what qualifies as an actual vacancy.

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