Shammara Henderson Just Became the First African American Appellate Judge in New Mexico


February 19, 2020

More firsts! Shammara Henderson just made history by becoming New Mexico’s first African American appellate judge in the state’s 100+ year history. 

Appointed the the Court of Appeals, Henderson is a former state and federal prosecutor, assistant district attorney and assistant U.S. attorney, despite being just 37-years-old. Her extensive experience is part of what she believes made her a great candidate, KOAT news reports.

“I’ve always wanted to be a judge. I have that experience that would bring value to the bench in multiple different ways and I think it’s important for people to be able to see that. I think having a diverse bench is very important in interpreting the law to ensure that it is being applied appropriately,” Henderson said. 


Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham appointed Henderson who will replace Judge Monica Zamora, a historic decision over 100 years in the making. “Black lawyers, Black law students, women lawyers, women law students and anybody really, if they put their mind out there and say that they can accomplish these things, they can do it,” Henderson said.

Henderson is set to start her new position this March, but will have to be elected during the next general election if she plans to stay on the bench. 

Congratulations Judge Henderson!


Photo Courtesy of KOAT

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join the BOTWC newsletter for the latest in news & culture!

By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Newsletter Signup
Skip to content