Removal Of Insurrectionist From Office Upheld By State Supreme Court

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Couy Griffin, the Capitol riot participant who was also a county commissioner in New Mexico, will remain out of office after the state Supreme Court in New Mexico reaffirmed its prior dismissal of Griffin’s appeal of the decision of a lower-level judge to boot him.

Griffin was forced out of his role in tandem with the provisions of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that restrict those involved in insurrection from holding government office. In the last Congress, Democratic Reps. Jamie Raskin (Md.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) introduced a proposal to establish a clear system for implementing those restrictions, allowing for certain interests to pursue a judicial declaration disqualifying a candidate for office, but that initiative wasn’t passed. The measure, if approved and made law, would’ve formally declared the Capitol riot an insurrection. The New Mexico judge who pushed Griffin out of office, although not before he helped delay the certification of local primary results, also found the Capitol violence, in connection to which Griffin was charged, to fit the relevant standards for an insurrection.

Others made similar challenges to the eligibility for office of GOP members of Congress including Marjorie Taylor Greene and Madison Cawthorn, the latter of whom is now back in the private sector, although both were unsuccessful. Greene is now in another term in which she’s now serving on committees in the House dealing with oversight and homeland security. On Twitter this week, she pushed the idea of a national divorce, which is odd conservative-speak for breaking up the country. Besides the obviously existentially damaging implications of the idea, it’s also ridiculous to imagine that the country can be reasonably even divided between so-called “red” and “blue” states. Even in Greene’s own state of Georgia, Dems are now the state’s two Senators, and Biden won the presidential race there in 2020 — but GOP’er Brian Kemp won another term as governor last year, and Republicans also won other statewide races, like the contest for Secretary of State.

In which category would Greene imagine Georgia falls? Back in New Mexico, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s Senior Vice President and Chief Counsel Donald Sherman celebrated the ruling against Griffin. “The New Mexico Supreme Court’s decision means that Judge Mathew’s ruling – that Mr. Griffin engaged in insurrection on January 6th and disqualified himself from office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment – will stand,” he said. “We’re pleased that the precedent set by our victory will help protect our democratic institutions from insurrectionists. We look forward to holding more insurrectionists accountable under the 14th Amendment, including Donald Trump.” Griffin is a co-founder of a group called “Cowboys for Trump” and has a history of what can basically be described — generously — as incendiary rhetoric.