Kerry Morris has lived in Albuquerque since 1953. He attended Bel Air Elementary School, McKinley Middle School, and Del Norte High School. Kerry considers growing up in New Mexico to be one of his greatest blessings. They do not call New Mexico the Land of Enchantment for nothing; in addition to its beautiful landscape and incredible weather, the diverse cultures of New Mexico add a spiritual dimension to the land and its people. As a small child, he spent weekends in Santa Fe where his aunt and uncle had an appliance business on Water Street. This exposed him to Hispanic and Native American cultures, giving him a fondness and appreciation for their cultural and spiritual diversity.
Kerry began his college career in the turbulent 1960s at the University of Albuquerque, transferring to UNM in his second year. The 60s were a time of great upheaval for our country, much like today. He was actively involved in the political movements of the time and developed an appreciation for multiple points of view in the free exchange of ideas.
Kerry left UNM before graduating in 1973 to open a Dutch Indonesian restaurant (Indurapura) with a friend from Holland. After working together for a few years, Kerry opened his own restaurant downtown across from the courthouse (Sam’s Café International).
After being encouraged by many of the lawyers who ate at his restaurant to go to law school, Kerry returned to UNM to complete his undergraduate degree in December 1977. Kerry then entered into UNM’s joint JD/MBA program and graduated in May 1981 with his Juris Doctor. He did not finish the MBA program, wanting to focus on the law.
In January 1982, Kerry began working for District Attorney Steve Schiff as an Assistant District Attorney. A few years later, Kerry decided to try something different and became a stockbroker and an insurance agent for Mutual of Omaha. After realizing his career change was not the right one for him, Kerry started his own law practice in 1986 and has represented a wide variety of individuals, small businesses, and other clients for over 34 years.
In the spring of 1986, Kerry was approached by the Republican Party of New Mexico to recruit lawyers to run as judicial candidates in the election that year. With the Republican Party’s assistance, Kerry founded and directed the 1986 Republican Judicial Campaign Committee. The campaign’s slogan was “Criminals Hate Republican Judges.” During that highly contentious election, he met his wife Gloria, and they were married in July 1986. Their son Andrew, who recently graduated from college and like so many other young people, plans on leaving New Mexico for better job prospects in California.
Though Kerry’s parents were both Jewish, born and raised in Chicago, Kerry attends the First Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque. He is proud of his Jewish heritage and worships from time to time at Congregation Albert and the Chabad and continues to celebrate the major Jewish holidays. Kerry’s older brother Larry was the minister of Hillside Community Church until he passed away in 2015. Kerry regularly attended services at Larry’s church, often teaching classes in prayer and meditation at the church as well as at the State Bar of New Mexico.
Kerry and Gloria have worked together in the law practice since early on in their marriage. Life is not been without tragedy; their son Daniel was the victim of gun violence in 2008 and their daughter Rachel passed away in 2015. These tragedies have left the couple scarred, but their relationship has only grown in strength as a result. When Kerry is elected to the New Mexico Supreme Court, Gloria is looking forward to returning to UNM to complete her degree in history. They are both looking forward to spoiling their grandchildren when they arrive.
Public Safety – I believe the first priority of the justice system is to preserve public safety. In my opinion, the best way to do this is to ensure the public has confidence that the courts will enforce the law fairly and equitably, regardless of the political party, race, gender or economic status of those affected.
Now is the time for judicial candidates to exhibit great courage in addressing the current issues facing New Mexico’s courts. We must confront the issues of systemic racism not by affording defendants significant protections above and beyond the constitutional rights guaranteed to all citizens but by ensuring that all defendants are judged equally.
I believe it is the duty of the courts to preserve public safety while protecting the rights of all defendants. To build and maintain public confidence in the judicial system, crime must be swiftly and appropriately punished. Laws must be fairly and impartially enforced, and we must maintain a fair and equitable balance between the rights of defendants and public safety. It should be well known that if you commit a crime you will be prosecuted; that you will be given a fair trial before an impartial and independent judge and jury; and, if convicted, you will be swiftly punished as the law provides.
Fair, Impartial, and Independent – over the last 40 years of representing individuals, small businesses, and others, I have come to understand how important it is for each party involved in a legal matter to be treated Fairly by Impartial judges and juries who are Independent from coercion and undue influence to assure that justice is served and rights are preserved. More importantly, everyone who is involved in a case, whether criminal or civil, as well as the general public, must believe that the courts, judges, and juries are fair, impartial, and independent. Without this, the credibility of the justice system is in question and society is at risk of anarchy.
Finally, I believe that the courts and the justice system as a whole, must continually work toward a better, more equitable and justice society for all people.
Nothing contained herein should be construed to imply that if elected, I will be anything other than fair, impartial, and objective in deciding the cases and legal issues that come before me.