Retired Supreme Court Justice Edward Chávez to head redistricting panel - Albuquerque Journal

Retired Supreme Court Justice Edward Chávez to head redistricting panel

Edward Chávez, center, reacts to a speech by then-Chief Justice Charles Daniels at the Capitol in 2017. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Retired state Supreme Court Justice Edward Chávez will lead New Mexico’s newly created citizen redistricting committee – one of a host of appointments made Friday as the new body takes shape.

Chávez was chosen by the State Ethics Commission to serve as chairman of the seven-person panel, which will hold hearings and review census data this summer before recommending maps to the Legislature.

Also set to join the redistricting committee are State Demographer Robert Rhatigan and teacher Joaquin Sanchez, both appointed by the ethics commission Friday.

Rhatigan and Sanchez are from Albuquerque, and neither is registered to vote with a major political party, a requirement for their slots on the committee.

Rhatigan is director of Geospatial and Population Studies at the University of New Mexico, where his work gives him a strong background in census data and map-making. Sanchez is a former engineer who now works as a math and special education teacher at Robert F. Kennedy Charter High School.

Legislative leaders have appointed three other members: former Democratic senators Lisa Curtis and Michael Sanchez and Albuquerque attorney Christopher Saucedo, a New Mexico State University regent.

Just one more appointment is outstanding.

The redistricting group – established with bipartisan legislative approval this year – is designed to limit political influence over the once-a-decade drawing of district maps for Congress and the Legislature.

But its proposals will serve only as a recommendation. Legislators are set to meet in a special session late this year – perhaps in December – to adopt district maps.

By law, the State Ethics Commission had to pick a retired Supreme Court justice or appeals court judge to head the redistricting committee.

Chávez and retired Supreme Court Justice Barbara Vigil were interviewed Friday, but commission members cited Chávez’s first-hand experience in redistricting litigation as the deciding factor.

“It just puts him a step ahead in this process, in my mind, for the purpose of carrying out this mission, which has a very short timeline,” ethics commission member Ron Solimon said.

Four appointments to the redistricting committee come from the Legislature – two by Democratic leaders and two by Republican leaders.

Senate Minority Leader Greg Baca, R-Belen, appointed Saucedo; Senate President Pro Tem Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, appointed Curtis; and House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, appointed Sanchez.

The last slot is to be filled by an appointment from House Minority Leader James Townsend, R-Artesia.


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Sunport overhaul will bring refreshed food, retail area
ABQnews Seeker
Keller: Biggest renovation in 30 years ... Keller: Biggest renovation in 30 years set to begin early next year https://www.abqjournal.com/2464073/sunport-remodel-bringing-after-checkpoint-food-court.html Sunport overhaul will bring
2
Sandia workers honored by Society of Women Engineers
ABQnews Seeker
Group has worked to support women ... Group has worked to support women in their careers for over 70 years
3
FBI seeks suspected bank robber who wears just one ...
ABQnews Seeker
Man has robbed, or tried to ... Man has robbed, or tried to rob, at least three ABQ-area banks this month
4
Man charged in 2021 ABQ homicide
ABQnews Seeker
Other charges include armed robbery, tampering ... Other charges include armed robbery, tampering with evidence and conspiracy
5
Governor sends $4,200 excess campaign donation to state fund
ABQnews Seeker
Lujan Grisham is up for reelection ... Lujan Grisham is up for reelection this fall; GOP will pick nominee in June 7 primary
6
Rain, snow, cooler temps likely for New Mexico this ...
ABQnews Seeker
The weekend is expected to be ... The weekend is expected to be mostly sunny, with high temps of 50-52 degrees
7
Man sentenced to 6 years for burying the bodies ...
ABQnews Seeker
Three other men alleged to have ... Three other men alleged to have killed the teens are scheduled to stand trial in
8
NM reports nearly 15,000 new cases and 33 deaths ...
ABQnews Seeker
Positivity rate remains high, with just ... Positivity rate remains high, with just over 30% of all COVID tests coming back positive
9
Move to pay NM's elected officials to involve ethics ...
ABQnews Seeker
Proposal cleared Senate committee 7-1, heads ... Proposal cleared Senate committee 7-1, heads to Judiciary Committee