SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The chief justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court is retiring.

Judith Nakamura will leave the bench July 31, after serving on the high court since December 2015. She previously served as a judge in the Second Judicial District Court and with the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court.

The Supreme Court's Judicial Nominating Commission is accepting applications to replace Nakamura through June 26. The commission will hold an online meeting July 9 to gather input on the candidates and forward its recommendations to the governor, who will appoint a successor.

The chief justice presides over hearings and conferences at the New Mexico Supreme Court and oversees aspects of all state courts.

During her tenure, Nakamura guided the high court's response to the coronavirus pandemic. Most proceedings continued through audio and video conferencing. State courts now are preparing to resume jury trials.

She also worked to simplify the state court system by expanding technology and improving access to court programs and services. She served in groups that looked at ways to address opioid addiction, mental illness, substance abuse and behavioral health.

Nakamura says she's always aimed to make sound legal decisions and improve people's lives. Nakamura earned an undergraduate and law degree from the University of New Mexico.