Ranked-choice voting is unconstitutional under New Mexico law, attorneys for the city of Santa Fe wrote in an emergency appeal to the state Supreme Court on Wednesday as the municipal government fights a judge’s order to change the process for choosing the next mayor and city councilors.

Voters approved ranked-choice voting nearly a decade ago when the city governing body put a charter amendment on the ballot, and a state District Court judge has ordered the city to finally implement the system. But the City Council decided behind closed doors earlier this month to ask the state’s highest court for its opinion on whether the process is allowed under the New Mexico Constitution.

The appeal filed Tuesday, however, is not just a request for advice but a last-minute, unreserved push for the court to stop the process altogether.