Sarah M. Singleton
|Sarah M. Singleton|
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|Current Court Information:|
|New Mexico First Judicial District Court|
|Past position:||Attorney, Montgomery & Andrews|
|Undergraduate:||Sarah Lawrence College, 1971|
|Law School:||Indiana University School of Law, 1974|
|Candidate for:||1st District Court|
|Election information 2014:|
- 1 Elections
- 2 Education
- 3 Career
- 4 Awards and associations
- 5 Notable cases
- 6 See also
- 7 External links
- 8 References
Sarah M. Singleton is a district court judge in the First Judicial District of New Mexico. She was appointed to the court in 2009, and elected in 2010. She was retained in 2014 for a term that expires on December 31, 2020.
- See also: New Mexico judicial elections, 2014
|Singleton was retained to the 1st District Court with 78.3% of the vote on November 4, 2014.|
Judicial performance evaluation
The New Mexico Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission recommended that Judge Singleton be retained. The full report is available here.
In 2010 Singleton ran for election to the seat she was appointed to in 2009. She defeated Peter V. Culbert in the Democratic primary, winning 78.1% of the vote and ran unopposed in the general election receiving 100% of the vote.
- See also: New Mexico judicial elections, 2010
Singleton was endorsed by the Rio Grande Sun.
Singleton worked in the appellate division of the New Mexico Public Defender Department from 1974 to 1975 and in 1976 she was the acting appellate defender. From 1976 to 1981 she was a founding partner of Pickard & Singleton. She worked in the Singleton Law Offices from 1981 until 1985. Singleton was with Montgomery & Andrews from 1985 to 2009.
Awards and associations
- State Bar of New Mexico
- State Bar of Texas
- Admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico
- Admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- Admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- Admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States
Same-sex marriage licenses to be issued in Santa Fe County (2013)
On August 22, 2013, Judge Singleton became the first New Mexico judge to rule that same-sex couples can be married. The judge wrote in her order:
|“||[R]eading a sex or sexual orientation requirement into the laws of New Mexico violates the state constitution, which mandates that ‘equality of rights under law shall not be denied on account of the sex of any person.’||”|
The order came as a result of a lawsuit filed by Alexander Hanna and Yon Hudson. Judge Singleton ordered the County Clerk Geraldine Salazar to issue the couple a marriage license, which Salazar, as a self-proclaimed supporter of same-sex marriage was happy to do. Commissioner Liz Stefanics, a former state senator, and Linda Siegle became the first gay couple to get a marriage license in Santa Fe County. They were followed by Hanna and Hudson.
The issue of gay marriage also surfaced in other New Mexico courts around the same time. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled on August 22, the same day as Judge Singleton's ruling, that a photography company could not refuse to photograph a lesbian wedding. On August 21, Doña Ana County Clerk Lynn Ellins decided on his own to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Following Judge Singleton's decision in Santa Fe County, District Judge Alan Malott made a similar ruling in Bernalillo County on August 26, arguing that denying same-sex marriage amounts to discrimination based on sexual orientation, which the New Mexico Constitution forbids.
The rulings of Judge Singleton and Judge Malott, however, affected only the counties within their jurisdiction. New Mexico law does not currently ban same-sex marriage, nor does it explicitly approve it. The attorney general's office interpreted the law as prohibitive of gay marriage, but earlier 2013, the Santa Fe City Council passed a resolution recognizing gay marriage as legal.
Statewide license investigation (2011)
In September 2011, following the return of undeliverable documents, Singleton authorized the state to investigate whether foreign nationals were still living in New Mexico, through the Residency Recertification Program. The state sent letters to 10,000 foreign nationals who hold driver's licenses. A lawsuit is pending that challenges the scope of the investigation, with the governor's administration and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund at odds.
On August 31, 2011, Singleton issued a temporary restraining order against the administration.
- New Mexico Supreme Court
- News: Judge sides with New Mexico Land Commissioner in land swap dispute, January 15, 2012
- Rio Grande Sun "Court Picks For June Primary," May 20, 2010
- New Mexico Secretary of State, "2014 Primary Candidate List"
- ‘’New Mexico Secretary of State’’, “Unofficial Election Results- General Election- November 4, 2014," accessed December 17, 2014
- New Mexico Secretary of State, "Official Results- General Election- November 4, 2014," accessed December 17, 2014
- New Mexico Secretary of State, "2010 Primary Election Results"
- Sarah M. Singleton campaign website, "Education"
- Sarah M. Singleton Campaign website, "Employment"
- The Washington Post, "Second New Mexico county clerk’s office starts issuing same-sex marriage licenses," August 22, 2013
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Huffington Post, "New Mexico Gay Marriage: Santa Fe County Begins Granting Licenses," August 23, 2013
- The Wall Street Journal - Law Blog, "Photographers Discriminated Against Gay Couple, Court Rules," August 22, 2013
- The Washington Times, "ACLU ‘stunned’ as N.M. judge rules gay marriage legal, despite law," August 27, 2013
- NewsOK - Associated Press, "Court To Allow NM Check On Returned License Notices," September 13, 2011
- Sante Fe New Mexican, "Looking in: Governor breaks law with recertification," September 12, 2011