Overview of Supreme Court Duties
The Supreme Court consists of five Justices, who serve eight-year terms. The extensive responsibilities of the Justices reflect their collective role as the highest court, and court of last resort, in the state of New Mexico with the duty to oversee the entire New Mexico Judiciary. The Supreme Court’s mandatory, exclusive appellate jurisdiction includes capital appeals, appeals from the Public Regulation Commission, and appeals in election challenges. The Supreme Court also has the sole discretionary, appellate jurisdiction to review decisions of New Mexico Court of Appeals through the issuance of writs of certiorari. The Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction includes the power of superintending control over all lower state courts, and the power to issue extraordinary writs such as mandamus, prohibition, habeas corpus, and other writs necessary and proper for complete exercise of the Court’s jurisdiction. In addition to its regular caseload responsibilities, the Court is responsible for the statewide administrative oversight of the entire Judiciary, which includes the promulgation of rules of practice and procedure and the appointment and oversight of over 40 committees, boards, and commissions who assist the Court with its supervision of the bench and bar. The Court also is responsible for the admission and regulation of attorneys and judges, which includes setting and enforcing the requirements for the continuing legal education of attorneys and judges and imposing discipline against attorneys and judges for professional misconduct.