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Panel to weigh Supreme Court applicants

SANTA FE – State officials soon will meet to consider a replacement for retiring state Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Bosson.

The Judicial Nominating Commission, which will meet Monday to consider applicants for the court vacancy, has released the names of eight competing for the position. Bosson is a member of the commission that will help decide his replacement.

The applicants are:

  • Appeals Court Judge Michael E. Vigil.
  • Appeals Court Judge Linda M. Vanzi.
  • State District Judge Judith K. Nakamura of Albuquerque.
  • 5th Judicial District Judge Gary L. Clingman.
  • District Judge Samuel L. Winder of Albuquerque.
  • Diana Martwick, district attorney for the 12th Judicial District.
  • Santa Fe lawyers Paul W. Grace and Frank Susman.

Bosson has served on the state Supreme Court for 13 years and the Court of Appeals for eight years before that.

Gov. Susana Martinez will make the appointment based on the name or names of the finalists selected by the commission, though she can ask the commission to come back with additional choices. Her appointee will be required to run in a partisan election in 2016, the next general election.

Serving on the nominating commission for the Supreme Court vacancy is University of New Mexico School of Law Dean Alfred Mathewson, who serves as a nonvoting member and chairman; Bosson and Court of Appeals Judges James Wechsler and Michael Bustamante, all Democrats; and attorney Carlos Pacheco, a Democrat, and Hobbs resident Don Bratton, a Republican, both appointed by Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces.