WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) are commending the Honorable Martha Vázquez’s intention to assume senior status, effective January 1, 2022. Her announcement comes after 28 years of distinguished service on the federal bench.
“Since her first day on the bench, Judge Martha Vázquez has shown the New Mexicans appearing before her the utmost respect, compassion, and fairness. Her example has redefined the role of a federal judge for the better. We are very grateful for Judge Vázquez’ service over the past 28 years and for her continued willingness to serve on the bench in senior status. We look forward to working together to identify candidates that can follow in the example set by Judge Vázquez,” said Senators Heinrich and Luján.
Judge Vázquez was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico by President William J. Clinton on August 6, 1993. She was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 30, 1993, received her commission on October 1, 1993, and was sworn in on October 6, 1993. Judge Vázquez is the first woman to have been appointed to the District Court for the District of New Mexico. She is also the first woman to have served as Chief Judge for the District of New Mexico, a role she held for seven years from 2003 to 2010.
During her tenure as a federal judge, Judge Vázquez served as a member of both the Committee on the Budget and the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. She is also the recipient of several awards, including the Henrietta Pettijohn Award, which she received in May 2015 for achievement and contribution to the progress of women in New Mexico and the nation.
Judge Vázquez was born in Santa Barbara, California on February 21, 1953, to a supportive and closely-knit Mexican immigrant family. In 1975, she received a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, and in 1978, she received her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School. After graduation, she worked for three years as a Public Defender for the State of New Mexico, and then joined the Jones Law Firm in Santa Fe, where she practiced criminal defense, personal injury, and general civil law for 11 years before taking the bench.
Individuals interested in being considered for a position on the District Court for the District of New Mexico or the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, or as United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, should fill out an expression of interest by clicking here.