It was only in 1912 when New Mexico, a former colony of Spain, became the 47th state, even though it was already a U.S. territory in 1853 by virtue of the Gadsden Purchase. The Manhattan Project, a top-secret operation during World War II, made New Mexico the site to produce the first atomic bomb by the top notch scientists of America. The project started on July 16, 1945, and chose the Trinity Bomb site to have the atomic bomb tested. In 1947, a local farmer from Roswell discovered on his property some debris that could not be identified, which led to speculation that an alien spacecraft had crashed on earth. The antiquated city of Santa Fe was home to famous artist Georgia O’Keeffe, while visitors continue to visit Socorro and experience looking at the Very Large Array telescope. The capital city of New Mexico is Santa Fe.
New Mexico has 33 counties. It was in 1852 when the original nine counties were created. One of the original nine counties was Santa Ana County which, in 1876, was annexed to Bernalillo County.
The judicial system of New Mexico is composed of a supreme court, probate courts, an appeals court, magistrate courts, district courts, and other lower courts.
There are four associate justices and a chief justice in the Supreme Court. There are 10 judges in the appellate court that take off some of the caseloads from the Supreme Court. The justices are elected to the positions for an 8-year term.
Thirteen judicial districts divide the 33 counties, and district courts are served by 72 judges that are elected for a six-year term. The district courts are also referred to as trial courts because of their unlimited general jurisdiction. Decisions coming from the administrative agencies and lower courts are reviewed by district courts.