NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled staggered retention elections for judges are allowed under the state constitution. Voters in 2020 approved a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to stagger terms of certain elected state, county, and district offices. The next year, lawmakers passed a bill staggering elections for district and metro court judges.

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A group of judges challenged it, arguing it shortened the terms of some judges and lengthened others as the state moved into the new retention cycles. The justices determined the 2020 amendment was intended to repeal those sections of the constitution saying judicial retentions happen at the same time.