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SANTA FE – The state Supreme Court invites New Mexicans to apply to serve on a newly created Commission on Equity and Justice.

The Commission will study issues related to bias and inequities in the state’s justice system and promote diversity among judges and judicial employees.

An order issued on Monday formally established the Commission on Equity and Justice as a permanent standing commission of the Supreme Court and outlined the framework of its voting and non-voting membership. Click here to view the order.

The Court earlier this year formed a steering committee, chaired by Justice C. Shannon Bacon, to develop recommendations on the Commission’s structure and work.

The Court and the steering committee are seeking applicants for the Commission. Applicants should send a letter of interest to Supreme Court Chief Clerk Joey Moya by email to nmsupremecourtclerk@nmcourts.gov, by fax to (505) 827-4837 or by first class mail to P.O. Box 848, Santa Fe, NM 87504. Applicants should limit their letters to two pages, indicate which position they are seeking and describe (1) why they wish to serve on the Commission, (2) what they bring to the Commission and (3) their demonstrated commitment or professional experience with diversity, equality, inclusion or anti-racism. Letters of interest should be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2020.

The Commission’s voting members will be: one Supreme Court justice, one Court of Appeals judge, a total of three judges from the district and metropolitan courts, one magistrate court judge, one tribal court judge, one University of New Mexico School of Law representative, four attorneys, one community advocate, one human rights/civil rights representative, one mental health advocate, one court security officer, one state legislator, and two at-large members.

Representatives from more than two dozen organizations and judicial entities also will be invited to participate on the commission. These organizations include the New Mexico Women’s Bar Association, New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, New Mexico Black Lawyers Association, New Mexico LGBTQ Bar Association, New Mexico Indian Bar Association, American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, Southwest Women’s Law Center, New Mexico Legal Aid and the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty.

The Court, in consultation with the steering committee, will appoint the Commission’s members and its chair.

The Court’s order said the Commission will make recommendations to achieve several objectives, including the elimination of “biases and inequities within New Mexico’s justice system that are due to race, ethnicity, color, national or tribal origin, ancestry, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or presentation, indigent status, physical, mental or developmental disability or condition, age, English language proficiency, parenting status or pregnancy, and other characteristics identified by the Commission.”

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