Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday filled two vacancies on the New Mexico Supreme Court, naming C. Shannon Bacon to the seat left open by the retirement of Justice Charles Daniels, and David K. Thomson to the seat left by retired Justice Petra Maes.
“They are fair, trustworthy, intellectually rigorous and conscientious judges, and I expect the court and the state will greatly benefit from their service now as justices,” the governor said in a statement.
Bacon has been a judge in the 2nd Judicial District in Bernalillo County since 2010, serving as the presiding judge for the Civil Division, as well as a water judge.
Thomson has been a judge in the 1st Judicial District Court covering Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties, serving since 2014. He previously worked for more than a decade in the state Attorney General’s Office, where he served as deputy attorney general and director of the litigation division.
“Justices Bacon and Thomson are eminently qualified jurists who have earned the broad respect of their peers, accrued decades of extensive and varied experience, and demonstrated a consistent fidelity to justice in our state,” Lujan Grisham said.
Investiture ceremonies during which the new justices will be sworn in have yet to be scheduled.
Bacon is also board president of the District and Metropolitan Judges Association and has served in leadership roles or as a member with a number of professional legal and civic organizations. Among them are the New Mexico Women’s Bar, Southwest Women’s Law Center and the Albuquerque Community Foundation.
An adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, Bacon teaches evidence and trial practice.
She was formerly a partner at two Albuquerque law firms and clerked under Judge A. Joseph Alarid at the New Mexico Court of Appeals.
Bacon graduated from St. Pius X High School and earned her bachelor’s degree and her law degree from Creighton University in Omaha. She was admitted to the state bar of New Mexico in 1997.
Thomson has served in leadership roles or as a member in various legal organizations, including on the American Bar Association’s Judicial Record and on the ABA’s communications and program committees.
He had his own law practice in Santa Fe and clerked under Judge Bruce D. Black of the U.S. District Court of New Mexico.
Thomson graduated from Santa Fe High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and his law degree from the University of Denver. He was admitted to the state bar of New Mexico in 1999.
The Judicial Nominating Commission vetted more than a dozen applicants for the vacancies and forwarded seven candidates to the governor. Other names under consideration included James Waylon Counts, the chief judge of the 12th Judicial District of New Mexico in Alamogordo; T. Glenn Ellington, a judge with the 1st Judicial District Court, in Santa Fe; William Daniel Slease, chief disciplinary counsel for the New Mexico Supreme Court Disciplinary Board; Linda Vanzi, chief judge on the New Mexico Court of Appeals; and Jane Yohalem, an appellate practice attorney in Santa Fe.
Justice Michael Vigil won election to the New Mexico Supreme Court in November, joining Justice Barbara Vigil and Chief Justice Judith Nakamura.
Bacon and Thomson will stand for election in 2020 to try to serve out terms that end in 2026.