New Mexico governor appoints judge to court of appeals

Supreme Court News

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed a judge to the state Court of Appeals to fill a vacancy created by Justice Julie J. Vargas’ appointment to the state Supreme Court.

The state’s 4th Judicial District Chief Judge Gerald E. Baca was appointed to the New Mexico Court of Appeals on Friday.

“Judge Baca has extensive experience on all sides of criminal and civil litigation as well as a diverse and rigorous background on the bench,” said Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, in a statement. “Our state Court of Appeals will greatly benefit from his decades of judicious and exemplary practice as an attorney and jurist.”

Baca, a New Mexico native, has presided over criminal cases in the district court that serves the counties of Guadalupe, Mora and San Miguel since 2013.

“I’m so excited and looking forward to doing this work,” Baca said. “But at the same time, a little saddened because I’ve been here in my hometown serving my community. It’s hard to leave hoping that I’ve done a good job but looking forward to being able to do good things for the people of New Mexico and the Court of Appeals.”

Baca, 59, will now be one of 10 judges tasked with reviewing appeals from the state’s lower courts.

New Mexico Court of Appeals judges serve eight-year terms and must be retained by at least 57% of voters at the end of each term, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.

Baca, a registered Democrat, will have to win the 2022 primary and general elections to remain on the Court of Appeals, the newspaper reported. This is Baca’s third gubernatorial appointment.

Former Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson appointed Baca to the 4th Judicial District seat in 2007. Baca then lost his job in an election the following year.

Related listings

  • Planned Parenthood sues to block South Carolina abortion ban

    Planned Parenthood sues to block South Carolina abortion ban

    Supreme Court News 02/18/2021

    Planned Parenthood was filing a lawsuit Thursday against a bill that would ban most abortions in South Carolina, effectively stopping the measure from going into effect even as the governor was scheduled to sign it into law at a public statehouse cer...

  • India's top court suspends implementation of new farm laws

    India's top court suspends implementation of new farm laws

    Supreme Court News 01/16/2021

    India’s top court on Tuesday temporarily put on hold the implementation of agricultural reform laws and ordered the creation of an independent committee of experts to negotiate with farmers who have been protesting against the legislation.The S...

  • Appeals court vacates order delaying woman’s execution

    Appeals court vacates order delaying woman’s execution

    Supreme Court News 01/01/2021

    A federal appeals court has cleared the way for the only woman on federal death row to be executed before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.The ruling, handed down Friday by a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Co...

USCIS to Begin Accepting Applications under the International Entrepreneur Rule

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today it is taking steps to implement the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), in accordance with a recent court decision. Although the IER was published during the previous administration with an effective date of July 17, 2017, it did not take effect because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule on July 11, 2017, delaying the IER’s effective date until March 14, 2018. This delay rule was meant to give USCIS time to review the IER and, if necessary, to issue a rule proposing to remove the IER program regulations.

However, a Dec. 1, 2017, ruling from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in National Venture Capital Association v. Duke vacated USCIS’ final rule to delay the effective date. The Dec. 1, 2017, court decision is a result of litigation filed in district court on Sept. 19, 2017, which challenged the delay rule.