Thursday, 01 November 2018 17:21

Voter Education: Constitutional Amendments

How about the Constitutional Amendment questions on the ballot? Given the unquestionable problems with ethics, corruption and abuse of public office that exists in New Mexico, the need for increased investigation and accountability is unarguable. As one of only a handful of states without an Ethics Commission, we should follow the best practices of other states and avoid the pitfalls too. But here’s the thing voters should ask, “Is this something that should be in the state constitution?” NMBC’s position on this issue is that our state legislators should pass appropriate laws to adjudicate and fund an Ethics Commission, which does not require a constitutional amendment.

On the question of a constitutional amendment dealing with our court appeal system, NMBC believes the judiciary system in place now serves the public’s best interest and should not be changed via the constitution. Allowing lower court decisions to be appealed without first going to District Court would overburden the Appeals Court. Also problematic is that a direct appeal from a metropolitan level court does not provide NM Appeals Court Judges with appropriate and detailed background on the case that a ‘Court of Record’ District Court does provide. 

The proposed constitutional amendment dealing with the appeals court would open the floodgate of cases being appealed, a boon for trial attorneys, a bust for the already overloaded Court of Appeals.

Get Educated. Get Involved. Go Vote.

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