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New Energy Economy Inc. v. Martinez

Supreme Court of New Mexico
247 P.3d 286 (N.M. 2011)


Facts

The New Mexico State Records Center and Archives (Records Center), under the supervision of the State Records Administrator, was tasked with receiving regulations from issuing agencies and publishing them in a timely manner in the New Mexico Register. Under the Records Center’s own regulations, regulations filed with the Records Center after the cut-off date for publication must be published in the following issue. According to the Records Center’s schedule, regulations submitted between December 16, 2010 and January 4, 2011, were to be published on January 14, 2011. On December 27, 2010, the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) filed an environmental regulation. The Records Center scheduled the regulation for publication on January 14, 2011. On December 23, 2010, the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) filed a set of environmental regulations. The Records Center also scheduled these regulations to be published on January 14, 2011. On January 1, 2011, the newly-elected Governor of New Mexico issued an executive order suspending all proposed and pending rules and regulations for a ninety-day period. Based on this executive order, the Acting Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department (Environment Department) requested that the Records Center suspend publication of the environmental regulations filed by the EIB and the WQCC. Neither the EIB nor the WQCC were under the authority of the Secretary of the Environment Department. The Records Center suspended publication of the environmental regulations. Thereafter, New Energy Economy Inc. (New Energy) (plaintiff) petitioned for a writ of mandamus against the Governor, the Secretary of the Environment Department, and the State Records Administrator (defendants). New Energy sought publication of the regulations and an order directing the Governor and Secretary to rescind the cancellation of the filings and to refrain from interfering with the publication process.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Chavez, J.)

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