Friday, August 31, 2007
State Supreme Court Justice Pamela Minzner Dead at 63
By Deborah Baker/
SANTA FE State Supreme Court Justice Pamela Minzner, the second woman to sit on the state's highest court and the first to serve as chief justice, died today. She was 63.
The court announced that she had died from cancer.
Minzner had been on the five-member court since 1994, when she was appointed by then-Gov. Bruce King.
She had spent the decade prior to her appointment on the state Court of Appeals, where she served as chief judge.
Minzner was married to Dick Minzner, an Albuquerque lawyer and lobbyist who is a former member of the state House of Representatives and a former secretary of the state Taxation and Revenue Department.
She served on the faculty of the University of New Mexico School of Law from 1972 until her appointment to the Court of Appeals in 1984. She was in private practice in Boston and Albuquerque before joining the UNM faculty.
She got her law degree from Harvard University in 1968.
She is survived by her husband and two sons, Carl and Max.
The court said the family would hold a private memorial service next week and that a public memorial would be held at a later date.
"Justice Minzner enjoyed unconditional respect and admiration from the legal community because she was hard working, articulate and an excellent writer," Chief Justice Edward Chavez said in a statement.
"Yet her best qualities were her human qualities. With an ever present smile, she treated everyone with dignity, respect and genuine thoughtfulness. She will be dearly missed."
Her vacancy on the court will be filled by Gov. Bill Richardson. A judicial nominating committee will recommend candidates to the governor.
Richardson said in a statement that Minzner's death "will be a great loss to the judicial system."
Copyright ©2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.