Las Cruces Academy was graced by the visit of three justices of the New Mexico Supreme Court on Sept. 16, 2021 as Justices C. Shannon Bacon, Julie Vargas and Briana Zamora visited the school. The justices fielded questions from 24 students in grades 3 to 8 as the justices, students and teachers assembled in open air in the school courtyard.

Students asked how one becomes a lawyer, a judge and a justice; what were the hardest cases to decide; who represents a person who dies; how do justices interpret laws passed by the Legislature that have some ambiguity; do they associate with the governor (circumspectly, to retain the independence of the branches of government); will there be a vaccination mandate; why they chose to serve in New Mexico over other opportunities (they’re all native-born New Mexicans pleased to help our fellow citizens); how many supreme courts there are, and do they ever meet together to learn how each one operates; how do cases reach the Supreme Court; when in their lives did they decide they wanted to work in law; how opportunities in law arose for women and other groups; and many more queries.

The justices and students showed mutual admiration. The academy has to thank parent Mollie Mc- Graw for creating this occasion.

New Mexico Supreme Court justices, left to right, are Julie Vargas, C. Shannon Bacon and Briana Zamora with students at Las Cruces Academy.