- Associated Press - Thursday, January 15, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The state Supreme Court will consider an emergency petition that seeks to nullify Gov. Susana Martinez’s recent appointment of a judge in eastern New Mexico’s 10th Judicial District.

Martinez appointed Albert Mitchell last week, which prompted opponents to file the petition.

Oral arguments are scheduled for Friday, but the court has also ordered Mitchell not to preside as a district judge until further notice.

Only two attorneys applied for the position: Mitchell and Donald Schutte. The Judicial Nominating Commission forwarded both names to the governor.

Martinez’s office said the decision presented an unusual choice between two candidates who had lost judicial elections in their district.

Schutte lost a contested election to Mitchell in 2008. Mitchell failed to get enough votes for retention during the Nov. 4 general election.

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