With a population of approximately 2 million, New Mexico ranks as the 36th most populous state, and is the 5th largest by area, at over 121,00 sq miles. As a mountain state it shares one of the Four Corners with Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. Albuquerque is the largest city and Santa Fe is the state’s capital city.
New Mexico’s economy is heavily reliant on oil-drilling, dryland farming, mineral extraction, lumber, million, cattle ranching, and retail trade. With low/moderate personal tax rates, and favorable tax credits to various business-industries, residents enjoy higher salaries than those in neighboring states. Throughout its history, New Mexico has the highest percentage of Latin and Native Americans, followed by Native American populations (which is second highest in the US, after Alaska). The Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache tribes, which are federally protected Indian Tribes, inhabit the state.
Today, the federal government is highly prominent in the state’s economy, with many federal US jobs being located in the state. There are 3 air bases, testing bases, army ranging grounds, and technology labs throughout the state, all owned by the Federal government.
The government of New Mexico, like the majority of states in the United States, is divided into an executive, legislative and judicial branches.
- The executive branch includes the Governor and his or her cabinet, as well as the Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor, Attorney General, and the Commissioner of Public Lands.
- The legislative branch includes a bicameral legislature, with a 70-member New Mexico House of Representatives and the 42-member New Mexico Senate.
- The judicial branch is topped by the New Mexico Supreme Court, a primarily appellate court with limited original jurisdiction; including in cases where the death penalty or life imprisonment is sought, appeals from the New Mexico Regulation Commission, and cases involving the writ of habeas corpus. The judges are elected, and the governor can appoint a judge to fill a seat that is vacant between elections.
The intermediate-level appellate court is the New Mexico Court of Appeals, consisting of ten judges who hear cases in panels made up of three judges. The court has appellate jurisdiction over district courts, and some state agencies. The New Mexico district courts have general jurisdiction over torts, contracts, real property rights, estate, executive domestic relations, as well as exclusive juvenile jurisdiction and criminal appeals jurisdiction. The district court is broken into thirteen judicial districts.
There are 54 New Mexico Magistrate courts hear cases involving traffic violations, felony preliminary hearings, and landlord/tenant courts. Additionally, each county has a probate court, which has limited jurisdiction and does not hear jury trials. The New Mexico municipal courts also have limited jurisdiction and do not hold jury trials, and they hear cases involving petty misdemeanors, DWI/DUI, traffic violations and other municipal ordinance violations.
Coverage of New Mexico laws and regulations by the National Law Review includes data and security breach, medical marijuana legislation and legalization news, employment and labor laws, minimum wage laws, and coverage of immigration news and legislation. Visitors to the National Law Review will find statewide coverage, and news as it relates to locals and other states.