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Tierna Unruh-Enos is the managing editor and associate publisher at The Paper.

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It’s perfect timing, really. As March is Women’s History Month, and as The Paper. takes a closer look at women judges on the bench in New Mexico, the newly created New Mexico Supreme Court Commission on Equity and Justice has had its first meeting in the past week. The Commission was created in the fall of 2020 and aims to study issues related to bias and inequities in the state’s justice system and to promote diversity among judges and judicial employees.

Why now? Well, the truth is, the data doesn’t lie. Regardless of politics, progressive or conservative, there is simply not enough gender and racial equity in the courts. Case in point: The U.S. Supreme Court was created in 1789, and of the 111 justices that have served on the highest court, only five of them have been women. Let that sink in. In the history of the court, 106 of 111 Supreme Court Justices have been men.

It’s data like that that has paved the way for the Commission on Equity and Justice to become a permanent standing commission of the state’s Supreme Court and to take a look at how it can facilitate change. The gender balance in New Mexico’s justice system is changing, but it still has a way to go to build a bridge to greater gender and racial equity.

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