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(KRQE News)   Governor vetoes pay raise for state judges. Judges sue in the state Supreme Court in the most foregone conclusion in modern jurisprudence   (krqe.com) divider line 36
    More: Obvious, Supreme Court, Susana Martinez, recess, KRQE, party favors  
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2055 clicks; posted to Politics » on 11 Jun 2014 at 7:34 PM (13 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-06-11 06:43:32 PM
FTA: A group of judges filed a lawsuit in April, claiming the governor overstepped her authority and that her veto effectively deleted the judges' entire salaries from the state budget.

I haven't bothered to read the New Mexico state budget, but from what it sounds like to me, the state budget gave an 8% raise to state judges in the form of an appropriation line item, something like "The state will appropriate a certain sum of money for the pay of state judges and Supreme Court Justices. State judges will receive a salary of x dollars per year" where x is 108% of what the state judges received as salary in 2013's budget.

When Susana Martinez got to it, she used her line-item veto to basically cross that entire provision out of the state budget. In effect, she didn't just veto the 8% raise, she wiped out the entire appropriations for judicial salaries in New Mexico.

So, yeah, I'd imagine judges have a right to be pissed - her line item veto essentially said that judges should work for free in New Mexico (even if her intent wasn't to deny judges their salaries).
 
2014-06-11 07:01:26 PM

RexTalionis: FTA: A group of judges filed a lawsuit in April, claiming the governor overstepped her authority and that her veto effectively deleted the judges' entire salaries from the state budget.

I haven't bothered to read the New Mexico state budget, but from what it sounds like to me, the state budget gave an 8% raise to state judges in the form of an appropriation line item, something like "The state will appropriate a certain sum of money for the pay of state judges and Supreme Court Justices. State judges will receive a salary of x dollars per year" where x is 108% of what the state judges received as salary in 2013's budget.

When Susana Martinez got to it, she used her line-item veto to basically cross that entire provision out of the state budget. In effect, she didn't just veto the 8% raise, she wiped out the entire appropriations for judicial salaries in New Mexico.

So, yeah, I'd imagine judges have a right to be pissed - her line item veto essentially said that judges should work for free in New Mexico (even if her intent wasn't to deny judges their salaries).


Damn Communist governor
 
2014-06-11 07:35:23 PM
Judges don't really do anything, they should be grateful for the salary that they get. And the robes. I could dig a gig where I get free robes.
 
2014-06-11 07:39:24 PM
Stupid governor farks up, everyone else blames judges who want paid instead.
 
2014-06-11 07:39:53 PM
I should be outraged.
 
2014-06-11 07:40:28 PM

Gyrfalcon: Stupid governor farks up, everyone else blames judges who want paid instead.


Can we just not pay any of them?
 
2014-06-11 08:07:13 PM

RexTalionis: When Susana Martinez got to it, she used her line-item veto to basically cross that entire provision out of the state budget. In effect, she didn't just veto the 8% raise, she wiped out the entire appropriations for judicial salaries in New Mexico.


Hmmm, I'm guessing that if you were a legislator in a line-item veto state, I'm guessing you could make your unpopular amendment vetoproof with such grammar farkery.

"Annual Budget Section 1383(c)(3) - The yearly funding for the Bumblefark County School District shall be set at 273,455% of the amount appropriated for Senator Crackslurp's wife's elective breast augmentation surgery."
 
2014-06-11 08:09:51 PM
The biggest problem in my view is not the dispute over what my dear Governor vetoed. The biggest problem is that court simply made up a procedure to deal with the issue. The four justices that are retired have no legal authority to deal with the issue, they are retired. The court could have picked five random people off the street to decide the case for all that it matters. There simply is no lawful basis for their decision (for the record, I am sympathetic to the justices plight.) It would have been better if they had all the active justice involved...might this have created a greater appearance of a conflict of interest? Yes. But at least it would have been done by acting justices with lawful authority. Personally, if I were the Gov. I'd simply refuse to pay the money.
 
2014-06-11 08:10:43 PM

dookdookdook: RexTalionis: When Susana Martinez got to it, she used her line-item veto to basically cross that entire provision out of the state budget. In effect, she didn't just veto the 8% raise, she wiped out the entire appropriations for judicial salaries in New Mexico.

Hmmm, I'm guessing that if you were a legislator in a line-item veto state, I'm guessing you could make your unpopular amendment vetoproof with such grammar farkery.

"Annual Budget Section 1383(c)(3) - The yearly funding for the Bumblefark County School District shall be set at 273,455% of the amount appropriated for Senator Crackslurp's wife's elective breast augmentation surgery."


Haha! Depends on the state, though. As I recall, in Wisconsin (I think), the governor has strong line-item veto powers. The governor can essentially line-item veto specific words within a statute, even going as far as cobbling together the opposite law to the one passed by the legislature in doing so.
 
2014-06-11 08:14:55 PM

worlddan: The biggest problem is that court simply made up a procedure to deal with the issue. The four justices that are retired have no legal authority to deal with the issue, they are retired.


That's not true.

This is a case dealing with judicial pay - 4 of the 5 current Supreme Court Justices decided that they cannot sit for the case because they have a conflict of interest (since they are getting paid under the same provisions as the ones being challenged), so they recused themselves.

In many states, when the Supreme Court justices recuse themselves, they can either call up retired judges or lower court judges to take their place, which is what they did. Since all lower court judges are also being paid by the same provisions, they went with retired justices since they have no conflict of interest in the matter (their pensions are allocated by a different provision of the state appropriations).

I don't see what the problem is. I'm fairly sure this is actually standard practice in New Mexico - it certainly is in lots of other states. You just never heard of it before, so you're pissed, but your anger is misdirected.
 
2014-06-11 08:23:10 PM

Mugato: Judges don't really do anything, they should be grateful for the salary that they get. And the robes. I could dig a gig where I get free robes.


LOL. Dad's a judge. Trust me when I say I wouldn't wish some of those rulings on anyone, especially the civil proceedings. They spend hours reading through briefs only to make a decision knowing full well it'll get appealed.

Also you frankly have to deal with all kinds of scumbags, from police officers to lawyers to criminals to normal people already pissed they have to go to court to the kinds of assholes who sue at the drop of a hat.

Not a fun job, and not an easy one.
 
2014-06-11 08:34:16 PM

bdub77: Mugato: Judges don't really do anything, they should be grateful for the salary that they get. And the robes. I could dig a gig where I get free robes.

LOL. Dad's a judge. Trust me when I say I wouldn't wish some of those rulings on anyone, especially the civil proceedings. They spend hours reading through briefs only to make a decision knowing full well it'll get appealed.

Also you frankly have to deal with all kinds of scumbags, from police officers to lawyers to criminals to normal people already pissed they have to go to court to the kinds of assholes who sue at the drop of a hat.

Not a fun job, and not an easy one.


Oh please, what could possibly be so hard about it? You're payed a shiatton of money to sit around and if anyone pisses you off you send them to jail. Cry me a river.
 
2014-06-11 08:39:20 PM

bdub77: Mugato: Judges don't really do anything, they should be grateful for the salary that they get. And the robes. I could dig a gig where I get free robes.

LOL. Dad's a judge. Trust me when I say I wouldn't wish some of those rulings on anyone, especially the civil proceedings. They spend hours reading through briefs only to make a decision knowing full well it'll get appealed.

Also you frankly have to deal with all kinds of scumbags, from police officers to lawyers to criminals to normal people already pissed they have to go to court to the kinds of assholes who sue at the drop of a hat.

Not a fun job, and not an easy one.


Not to make light of the caseload, but the hours most judges keep are far different from a lot of their counterparts (lawyers, cops etc.)

My dad "retired" from practicing law for 35 years after getting his judgeship, which cut his workweek almost in half while only reducing his salary by about 25 percent.
 
2014-06-11 08:45:03 PM

Mugato: Oh please, what could possibly be so hard about it? You're payed a shiatton of money to sit around and if anyone pisses you off you send them to jail. Cry me a river.


Like I said, it all depends on what you do. Often you have to read through long ugly briefs and make determinations based on case law. It's a lot of terse, boring reading, the same stuff lawyers often get paid crazy money for. It's not all criminal or civil, and not just simple civil trials. In fact most trials are expensive so most don't involve going before a judge. It's not all sitting on a bench passing sentences or acting like Judge Judy. Sometimes you're talking jury trial and managing that and you don't even make a decision in some of those cases. And some of those sentences you do pass have possibly long term impacts on lives, and not just the people being judged.

Plus depending on what you're holding court in, it's a lot like being a babysitter, you pass sentence for some drugged out DUI and the guy says f*ck you and throws you the finger and sure you can send them to jail for 'pissing you off' but the next guy does the same thing. Day in day out for years. Now imagine you have your good days and your bad days like every other person in the world.

I wouldn't want that job.
 
2014-06-11 08:47:50 PM

06wildcat: Not to make light of the caseload, but the hours most judges keep are far different from a lot of their counterparts (lawyers, cops etc.)

My dad "retired" from practicing law for 35 years after getting his judgeship, which cut his workweek almost in half while only reducing his salary by about 25 percent.


True. Hours are definitely better and more structured, and you'll have backup with other judges. On the other hand, often lawyers make a lot more money. I have friends in corporate law who were making 50% more than my dad 2 years out of law school.

YMMV. A lot of lawyers make close to jack.
 
2014-06-11 08:54:03 PM

RexTalionis: worlddan: The biggest problem is that court simply made up a procedure to deal with the issue. The four justices that are retired have no legal authority to deal with the issue, they are retired.

That's not true.

In many states, when the Supreme Court justices recuse themselves,


NM isn't many states, though, it's New Mexico. And as a resident I cannot recall or find any precedent for a majority of justices recusing themselves and the hearing proceeding. As far as I can tell the justices simply made that procedure up off the top of their head. It may sound good...in may in fact be similar to what is done in other states...but neither of those facts  provide any lawful authority for them to do what they did in New Mexico.
 
2014-06-11 08:58:02 PM

RexTalionis: In many states, when the Supreme Court justices recuse themselves, they can either call up retired judges or lower court judges to take their place, which is what they did. Since all lower court judges are also being paid by the same provisions, they went with retired justices since they have no conflict of interest in the matter (their pensions are allocated by a different provision of the state appropriations).


In most jurisdictions, "retired" is a shorthand for "inactive, but subject to recall." In other words, if the court really needs to tap retired judges for situations where it is inappropriate to have the sitting judges decide a case (and this is a classic example, another being allegations of court-wide misconduct or conspiracy among all active judges), there are no elaborate formalities that have to be observed to reinstate the "retired" judge's power to adjudicate. They just have the retired judges dust off their robes and assign them the case.
 
2014-06-11 09:12:33 PM

Mugato: Judges don't really do anything, they should be grateful for the salary that they get. And the robes. I could dig a gig where I get free robes.


Throw in a free gavel and I'm there.
 
2014-06-11 09:26:50 PM
Suzanna Martinez is a prat.
 
2014-06-11 09:53:41 PM
What a retired judge may look like.
www.cannell.com
 
2014-06-11 10:01:09 PM

Uzzah: RexTalionis: In many states, when the Supreme Court justices recuse themselves, they can either call up retired judges or lower court judges to take their place, which is what they did. Since all lower court judges are also being paid by the same provisions, they went with retired justices since they have no conflict of interest in the matter (their pensions are allocated by a different provision of the state appropriations).

In most jurisdictions, "retired" is a shorthand for "inactive, but subject to recall." In other words, if the court really needs to tap retired judges for situations where it is inappropriate to have the sitting judges decide a case (and this is a classic example, another being allegations of court-wide misconduct or conspiracy among all active judges), there are no elaborate formalities that have to be observed to reinstate the "retired" judge's power to adjudicate. They just have the retired judges dust off their robes and assign them the case.


Justices Souter and O'Connor have served as lower court judges since they retired from the Supreme Court.
 
2014-06-11 10:09:55 PM

worlddan: NM isn't many states, though, it's New Mexico.


Not seeing how New Mexico is so special.  Like all states - New Mexico has a Constitution.

C. If any district judge is disqualified from hearing any cause or is unable to expeditiously dispose of any cause in the district, the chief justice of the supreme court may designate any retired New Mexico district judge, court of appeals judge or supreme court justice, with said designees' consent, to hear and determine the cause and to act as district judge pro tempore for such cause.

/fun fact:  they even have a spanish version.
 
2014-06-11 10:26:39 PM
First headline in a while that really made me laugh. Nice.
 
2014-06-11 10:57:54 PM

fusillade762: Mugato: Judges don't really do anything, they should be grateful for the salary that they get. And the robes. I could dig a gig where I get free robes.

Throw in a free gavel and I'm there.


Not sure about most judges, but according to Stephen Breyer, SCOTUS justices have to provide their own robes (according to this interview).

/Ridiculous gold stripes are optional.
 
2014-06-11 10:59:21 PM
Anal?
 
2014-06-12 12:30:53 AM

mod_reright: fusillade762: Mugato: Judges don't really do anything, they should be grateful for the salary that they get. And the robes. I could dig a gig where I get free robes.

Throw in a free gavel and I'm there.

Not sure about most judges, but according to Stephen Breyer, SCOTUS justices have to provide their own robes (according to this interview).

/Ridiculous gold stripes are optional.


Hell with that. If I had to buy my own robes, I'd go for something splashy and all wizard-like.

www.dressingupboxonline.co.uk
/pointy hat and curly shoes optional
/staff mandatory; design optional
 
2014-06-12 01:15:53 AM

bdub77: Mugato: Judges don't really do anything, they should be grateful for the salary that they get. And the robes. I could dig a gig where I get free robes.

LOL. Dad's a judge. Trust me when I say I wouldn't wish some of those rulings on anyone, especially the civil proceedings. They spend hours reading through briefs only to make a decision knowing full well it'll get appealed.

Also you frankly have to deal with all kinds of scumbags, from police officers to lawyers to criminals to normal people already pissed they have to go to court to the kinds of assholes who sue at the drop of a hat.

Not a fun job, and not an easy one.


I see your point, but bring up the issue of the "rest of us" who are not getting 8% raises.  Or any raise at all for the last 40 years almost vs:inflation.  I'm hearing the economy in Albuquerque is pretty bad, and it has not been good in quite a while.  So doesn't an 8% increase for judges amount to an additional taking or un-realistic robbery from the populace?
 
2014-06-12 01:33:31 AM

RexTalionis: dookdookdook: RexTalionis: When Susana Martinez got to it, she used her line-item veto to basically cross that entire provision out of the state budget. In effect, she didn't just veto the 8% raise, she wiped out the entire appropriations for judicial salaries in New Mexico.

Hmmm, I'm guessing that if you were a legislator in a line-item veto state, I'm guessing you could make your unpopular amendment vetoproof with such grammar farkery.

"Annual Budget Section 1383(c)(3) - The yearly funding for the Bumblefark County School District shall be set at 273,455% of the amount appropriated for Senator Crackslurp's wife's elective breast augmentation surgery."

Haha! Depends on the state, though. As I recall, in Wisconsin (I think), the governor has strong line-item veto powers. The governor can essentially line-item veto specific words within a statute, even going as far as cobbling together the opposite law to the one passed by the legislature in doing so.


Illinois has an amendatory veto, a reduction veto (which would have been useful to the governor of New Mexico in a situation like this), and a line-item veto for appropriations bills only. A package veto requires a 3/5 majority to override. A reduction or line-item veto requires a simple majority of those serving (not just those present), and an amendatory veto requires a simple majority of those serving to affirm changes. I don't know for sure, but I don't think that the line-item veto power, which is already limited to appropriations bills, is as versatile for those situations in which it can be employed as it is in Wisconsin. I don't think that Pat Quinn could just cobble together a new appropriations bill with his line-item veto power, for example.
 
2014-06-12 01:33:34 AM
www.ponziclawbacks.com
 
2014-06-12 02:16:03 AM

worlddan: RexTalionis: worlddan: The biggest problem is that court simply made up a procedure to deal with the issue. The four justices that are retired have no legal authority to deal with the issue, they are retired.

That's not true.

In many states, when the Supreme Court justices recuse themselves,

NM isn't many states, though, it's New Mexico. And as a resident I cannot recall or find any precedent for a majority of justices recusing themselves and the hearing proceeding. As far as I can tell the justices simply made that procedure up off the top of their head. It may sound good...in may in fact be similar to what is done in other states...but neither of those facts  provide any lawful authority for them to do what they did in New Mexico.


The lawful authority arises from the court's inherent authority to sit in equity. The court has discretion to make whatever reasonable accommodations are necessary to avoid conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest, and to fashion whatever equitable approach will allow the court to function while still preserving the court's status as a disinterested tribunal. Unlike federal courts, state courts are courts of general jurisdiction, and come armed with the full panoply of both legal and equitable remedies contemplated in the course of eight centuries of common law. Trust me, they got this.
 
2014-06-12 09:47:14 AM
Don't see the problem. The state doesn't give line item veto capabilities to their governor. Their governor attempted a line item veto. The judges voted correctly.

Next time, the governor will veto the entire thing, and force the state's legislature to do their jobs with a bit more granularity.
 
2014-06-12 09:48:35 AM

RexTalionis: FTA: A group of judges filed a lawsuit in April, claiming the governor overstepped her authority and that her veto effectively deleted the judges' entire salaries from the state budget.

I haven't bothered to read the New Mexico state budget, but from what it sounds like to me, the state budget gave an 8% raise to state judges in the form of an appropriation line item, something like "The state will appropriate a certain sum of money for the pay of state judges and Supreme Court Justices. State judges will receive a salary of x dollars per year" where x is 108% of what the state judges received as salary in 2013's budget.

When Susana Martinez got to it, she used her line-item veto to basically cross that entire provision out of the state budget. In effect, she didn't just veto the 8% raise, she wiped out the entire appropriations for judicial salaries in New Mexico.

So, yeah, I'd imagine judges have a right to be pissed - her line item veto essentially said that judges should work for free in New Mexico (even if her intent wasn't to deny judges their salaries).


Huh. That would explain it, too. Well, back to the legislature, I guess, to do the job right - ah, well.
 
2014-06-12 10:20:45 AM

FormlessOne: RexTalionis: FTA: A group of judges filed a lawsuit in April, claiming the governor overstepped her authority and that her veto effectively deleted the judges' entire salaries from the state budget.

I haven't bothered to read the New Mexico state budget, but from what it sounds like to me, the state budget gave an 8% raise to state judges in the form of an appropriation line item, something like "The state will appropriate a certain sum of money for the pay of state judges and Supreme Court Justices. State judges will receive a salary of x dollars per year" where x is 108% of what the state judges received as salary in 2013's budget.

When Susana Martinez got to it, she used her line-item veto to basically cross that entire provision out of the state budget. In effect, she didn't just veto the 8% raise, she wiped out the entire appropriations for judicial salaries in New Mexico.

So, yeah, I'd imagine judges have a right to be pissed - her line item veto essentially said that judges should work for free in New Mexico (even if her intent wasn't to deny judges their salaries).

Huh. That would explain it, too. Well, back to the legislature, I guess, to do the job right - ah, well.


The legislature got what it wanted: the budget passed.
 
2014-06-12 10:25:44 AM

ski9600: bdub77: Mugato: Judges don't really do anything, they should be grateful for the salary that they get. And the robes. I could dig a gig where I get free robes.

LOL. Dad's a judge. Trust me when I say I wouldn't wish some of those rulings on anyone, especially the civil proceedings. They spend hours reading through briefs only to make a decision knowing full well it'll get appealed.

Also you frankly have to deal with all kinds of scumbags, from police officers to lawyers to criminals to normal people already pissed they have to go to court to the kinds of assholes who sue at the drop of a hat.

Not a fun job, and not an easy one.

I see your point, but bring up the issue of the "rest of us" who are not getting 8% raises.  Or any raise at all for the last 40 years almost vs:inflation.  I'm hearing the economy in Albuquerque is pretty bad, and it has not been good in quite a while.  So doesn't an 8% increase for judges amount to an additional taking or un-realistic robbery from the populace?



Tell it to the legislature that authorized it.
 
2014-06-12 12:05:42 PM
So if the governor vetoes a bill, he only vetoes part of it unless specifically stated? But I thought a veto of part of it was a veto of all of it?
 
2014-06-12 02:22:39 PM

xkillyourfacex: So if the governor vetoes a bill, he only vetoes part of it unless specifically stated? But I thought a veto of part of it was a veto of all of it?


No. This ruling states that the governor of New Mexico cannot use a reduction or amendatory veto and try to pass it off as a line-item veto. Since the type of veto she attempted to use is not legal in the state of New Mexico, the justices ruled that she didn't actually veto anything. It's the correct ruling, as much as one may wish it wasn't.
 
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