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Hispanic woman named New Mexico chief justice

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Petra Jimenez Maes on Wednesday was named the first Hispanic woman to become chief justice of a state's highest court.

Maes, a four-year veteran of New Mexico's Supreme Court, was elected by her colleagues. She will be sworn in Friday in Santa Fe.

In New Mexico, the five elected justices select a chief every two years. Typically they rotate the job, giving it to the most senior justice who has not yet held it; this year that was Maes.

New Mexico is also the only state in which Hispanic men have been chief justices, according to the Hispanic National Bar Association.