SANTA FE, N.M. -- Petra Jimenez Maes on Wednesday was named the first Hispanic woman to become chief justice of a state's highest court.
Maes, a four-year veteran of New Mexico's Supreme Court, was elected by her colleagues. She will be sworn in Friday.
In New Mexico, the five elected justices select a chief every two years. Typically they rotate the job, giving it to the most senior justice who has not yet held it; this year that was Maes.
New Mexico is also the only state in which Hispanic men have been chief justices, according to Hispanic National Bar Association. Outgoing Chief Justice Patricio Serna was at least the fifth since New Mexico became a state in 1912.
Maes, 55, is the third woman to serve on the state Supreme Court, and the second female chief justice. The first, Pamela Minzner, was chosen in 1999.
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