As you may have read in the news lately, the state Supreme Court recently heard arguments on a case brought forth by far-left pro-abortion Democrat Attorney General Raúl Torrez, who is suing Lea and Roosevelt counties and the cities of Hobbs and Clovis for enacting ordinances relating to business licensing for abortion facilities. The ordinances are based on the federal Comstock Act, which preempts the state from interfering in its application. However, Torrez is trying to get the high court to rule against the counties.
What New Mexicans may not know about the Court, in particular, is that its chief justice, Shannon Bacon, and Justice Julie Vargas (both appointed by pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham) are alumni of the heavily biased dark money pro-abortion group “Emerge New Mexico,” which is a pro-abortion organization that trains women and “non-binary” candidates to run for office.
The national Emerge group, “Emerge America,” wrote on a form to recruit candidates, “Are you outraged by the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade? Do you want to protect abortion rights for your community? Are you ready to step forward and be the leader you’re meant to be? Then it’s time to run for office.”
During oral arguments on the county abortion ordinance case, Justice Bacon got combative and even hostile toward the attorneys representing the defendants, showing clear bias against the counties and cities before deliberations had even begun.
The Associated Press reported, “Justices peppered the attorney general and three attorneys for local governments with questions, voicing skepticism on a variety of arguments.”
“For anyone watching or tuning in, it was difficult to learn because of the justices’ frequent interruptions,” said State Senator David Gallegos, R-Eunice, who sat through some of the hearing via the live video feed, according to the Carlsbad Current-Argus. “At times, the personal ideologies of some of the justices were evident and they even coached the attorney general and pro-abortion counsel.”
Bacon said during the hearing, “These ordinances have a chilling effect on people in the state seeking the health care they need and these entities locating in Lea County,” appearing to show her bias in ruling over the Court.
How is it that nearly half of the judges on the state’s highest court appear inherently biased against counties that passed life-affirming laws due to their affiliation with Emerge New Mexico? The other three justices on the Court were either endorsed or appointed by the fervently pro-abortion governor, which lends no question as to how they will rule on any case involving abortion access in New Mexico.
What’s even more shocking than just the Supreme Court littered with pro-abortion extremist jurists is that seven out of the ten justices who sit on New Mexico’s Court of Appeals are graduates of Emerge, which the organization proudly touts on its website.
The group’s graduates who sit on the Court of Appeals include Judges Jennifer Attrep (ENM ’15), Kristina Bogardus (ENM ’17), Megan Duffy (ENM ’18), Shammara Henderson (ENM ’10), Jacqueline Medina (ENM ’14), Katherine Wray (ENM ’22), and Jane Yohalem (ENM ’18).
27 of the state Legislature’s 112 members are also graduates of the far-left pro-abortion organization, including the sponsors of 2021’s House bill to legalize abortion up-to-birth in the state. Democrat House Majority Whip Reena Szczepanski of Santa Fe, who was just elected in 2023, has risen to House leadership after being executive director for Emerge — showing the organization has clout with pulling strings to power. Three of Albuquerque’s seven school board members are Emerge alumni.
The referendum project currently challenging far-left extremist laws includes six bills seeking to be put on the ballot for a vote. Five of those six bills were sponsored by Emerge alumni.
Four judges in the First Judicial District (Santa Fe, Rio Arriba, Los Alamos counties), 11 in the Second District (Bernalillo County), one in the Sixth (Grant, Luna, and Hidalgo counties), one in the Eighth District (Colfax, Taos, and Union counties), and one in the Thirteenth District (Cibola, Sandoval, and Valencia counties) are Emerge alumni. The group has four judges on the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court, one judge on the Doña Ana County Magistrate Court, one on the Los Alamos County Municipal Court (District 32), and one on the Bernalillo County Probate Court.
The organization is funded by the Black Lives Matter-linked “Akonadi Foundation,” the major pro-lockdown teacher’s union, the National Education Association (NEA), and Hillary Clinton’s group “Onward Together,” among others, as reported by Influence Watch.
Many of these “Emerge” judges placed on the high courts may attempt to conceal their true values by cloaking them under their black robes and lip service to following the rule of law and nothing else, but make no mistake — it looks to be impossible to get an unbiased verdict in the state’s Supreme Court and Court of Appeals with the books already cooked against anyone who does not support pro-abortion extremism and other views held by the biased “progressive” organization.
Researcher Leanna Derrick contributed to this report.