February 14, 2023

U.S. Senate confirms federal judge for NM 

Joe Gratz


The steady stream of federal judge confirmations continued when the Senate voted to confirm Matthew L. Garcia as a U.S. District Judge for the District of New Mexico.

The Senate voted 53 to 46 to confirm Garcia. Both of New Mexico’s U.S. Senators, Democrats Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján, voted for the nomination and presented Garcia’s nomination to the Senate Judiciary Committee last year.

Garcia will fill a vacancy in the position.

Garcia is an attorney from Albuquerque, and served as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s chief of staff from 2020 to 2022 and as her general counsel previous to that. 

“Mr. Garcia was born, raised, and built his legal career in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where this District Court seat is based. An undergraduate and law school alum of the University of New Mexico, Mr. Garcia has cultivated a deep connection with the Land of Enchantment and genuinely cares for his fellow New Mexicans. I am confident that Mr. Garcia will continue a proud legacy of fair and committed federal judges in New Mexico,” Heinrich said in a statement after the vote.

“Mr. Garcia brings to the bench deep roots in the community, strong professional experience, and a commitment to public service,” Luján said. “I look forward to his investiture on the court. Earlier today, the Senate confirmed the 100th judicial nominee, and I look forward to another Congress of confirming a historically diverse slate of judicial nominees.”

The Democratic majority in the Senate has worked expeditiously to confirm Biden’s judicial nominees. On Tuesday, the chamber voted to confirm Cindy Chung to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Chung marked the 100th Biden judicial nominee to win confirmation, including one U.S. Supreme Court justice.

With a 51-49 majority, Democrats are able to move faster to confirm nominees. Before last year’s elections, the Senate was evenly split 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie breaking vote.


  • Matthew Reichbach

    Matthew Reichbach is the editor of the NM Political Report. The former founder and editor of the NM Telegram, Matthew was also a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and one of the original hires at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation and formerly published, “The Morning Word,” a daily political news summary for NM Telegram and the Santa Fe Reporter.