Religious liberty is at risk in the United States and deserves the highest level of protection in the law.
The Ten Commandments should not be displayed in public school buildings or court houses.
What does "separation of church and state" mean to you?
I follow what the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution which says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" At the time this Amendment was passed,it meant that, unlike most countries at the time, no church regardless of denomination could be mandated as the official church of a state or of the United States.
Judeo-Christian values established a framework of morality which is necessary for our system of limited government.
George Washington's comment that “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society” is still true today.
Briefly describe your spiritual beliefs and values.
The purpose of man is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever. The daily practice of meditation, prayer, and forgiveness are the foundations of my beliefs.
In light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision Bostock v. Clayton County, which justice’s opinion most closely aligns with your opinion of whether the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be extended to the LGBTQ community?
What types of pro bono work have you done?
What I consider "pro bono" work is very different from most lawyers. There are plenty of legal service programs for the poor, but none that I know of for the middle class and small businesses. Over my nearly 40 years as a lawyer, I have often represented small business owners and middle class folks who really couldn't afford a lawyer, either for free or at a substantially reduced fee.
I voted in these primaries and general elections:
2012 Republican Primary, 2012 General Election, 2014 Republican Primary, 2014 General Election, 2016 Republican Primary, 2016 General Election, 2018 Republican Primary, 2018 General Election
When you consider your views on a wide range of issues from economic and social matters to foreign policy and immigration, which of the following best describes you overall?
Please provide publicly available information validating your answer to the previous question.
I have run for 3 judicial positions as a Republican candidate since 1986. I am currently a member of a slate of Republican candidates who are running for appellate court positions in New Mexico. Our campaign slogan is "Law before Politics."
What education or experience qualifies you to hold the office for which you seek election?
I have been a prosecutor for the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office (2nd Judicial District). I prosecuted a wide variety of criminal cases including: narcotics, drunk drivers, fraud, and murder. Over nearly four decades of being a lawyer, I’ve represented thousands of individuals, small businesses, insurance companies, the State of New Mexico General Services Department, and other parties in connection with a wide variety of legal matters. I know how the decisions of the courts affect the lives of the people and businesses whom I have represented. Also, prior to going to law school, I was a restaurant owner and small businessman. I know what it's like to have to make a payroll. I can't image how restaurant owners are coping with the closures and restrictions.
In what areas of law have you practiced?
Accident Cases, Insurance Defense, Probate/Wills/Estate Planning, Real Estate, Conservatorships, Business Law, Construction Law, Consumer Law, Contracts, Corporate Law, Legal Malpractice, Libel, Slander and Defamation, Personal Injury, Religious Inst
Have you ever been convicted of a felony or been penalized for sexual misconduct? If so, please explain.
Why should the voters choose you?
I am committed to placing the law above politics, to making decisions based on the original meaning of the words used in the Constitution and the statutes at the time they were written.
Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?
Yes, I am committed to being fair, impartial, independent as justice on the NM Supreme Court.
The U.S. Constitution and my state constitution should be interpreted as living documents, rather than using a strict constructionist or originalist approach in judicial decisions.
There are times when American judges should alter U.S. case law in order to comply with foreign case law.
Which current U.S. Supreme Court justice best reflects your judicial philosophy?
What is the proper use of legislative history in interpreting statutory law?
I agree with Justice A. Scalia that legislative history should not be used in interpreting statutory law.
What possibilities should a judge exhaust before departing from precedent?
The best answer is not too.
How should a judge determine which rights are protected by the Constitution even though they are not specifically mentioned?
Then how do you know it's a Constitutional right? If a court goes down that road, isn't that anyone's or a judge's guess, based on their social or political outlook? I believe that it's better to stick with the original meaning of words at the time they were written.