Vote 4 NM: Understanding the proposed constitutional amendment | KOB 4
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Vote 4 NM: Understanding the proposed constitutional amendment

Chris Ramirez
October 31, 2018 06:43 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— New Mexicans will vote on two constitutional amendments.

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One question asks if people are "For” or “Against” Proposing an amendment to Article 6, Section 13 of the Constitution of New Mexico to give the legislature authority to provide for Appellate Jurisdiction by Statute.”

But what does that mean?

If a voter checks ‘For" on their ballot, they are saying that they are in favor of allowing state lawmakers to change the appeals process.

All appeals, from all courts, would go to the Court of Appeals.

Right now, if someone does not like a ruling from the lowest court, they can appeal it to the District Court. If they don’t like that ruling, they can appeal it to the Court of Appeals.

Artie Pepin, the administrator for courts in New Mexico, said, while the language is challenging, the ultimate goal is simple.

“All it does is give the legislature the authority, if they decide to do so, to make it so that those appeals don't go the District Court. They go straight to the Court of Appeals,” Pepin said.

A vote “Against” the amendment will keep the process as it currently stands.

Proponents say a “For” vote helps unclog District Courts, a court that was intended to be a trial court, not an appellate court.

Opponents say it could add a larger workload on the Court of Appeals.

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Chris Ramirez

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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