A New Mexico state district court judge has banned Cowboys for Trump co-founder Couy Griffin from holding public office for life following his conviction for trespassing on Jan. 6 at the US Capitol.
(Video Credit: 9NEWS)
State District Court Judge Francis Mathew issued the ruling on Tuesday asserting that Griffin had engaged in insurrection and violated the 14th Amendment, according to the Daily Mail. The determination prohibits Griffin from holding or seeking local or federal office and is the first ruling of its kind. The constitutionality of such a ruling will almost certainly be challenged.
“This decision marks the first time since 1869 that a court has disqualified a public official under Section 3, and the first time that any court has ruled the events of January 6, 2021, an insurrection,” Citizens for Ethics noted concerning the ruling.
The elected county commissioner was convicted in federal court of a misdemeanor for entering Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, without going inside the building. He engaged in no violence that day but just because he was there, he was sentenced to 14 days and given credit for time served.
The judge’s ruling under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment removes Griffin from his position as a commissioner in Otero County in southern New Mexico. He is also barred from serving as a presidential elector.
Democrats removed Couy Griffin from office for exercising his 1st Amendment Rights on 1/6. If elected officials can be removed from office for getting arrested at protests this slippery slope will be a much greater threat to our democracy than anything that happened on 1/6. https://t.co/ve8xRiSN8E
— Izengabe (@Izengabe_) September 6, 2022
“Mr. Griffin aided the insurrection even though he did not personally engage in violence,” Mathew wrote in his ruling. “By joining the mob and trespassing on restricted Capitol grounds, Mr. Griffin contributed to delaying Congress´s election-certification proceedings.”
(Video Credit: WUSA9)
Griffin found out that he was removed from his position when confronted by Otero County staff, who prevented him from accessing his work computer and office space at a county building in Alamogordo. He apparently was not officially notified.
“The actions that are being taken are, I believe, perfect evidence of the tyranny that we’re right now living under,” Griffin asserted. “The left continues to speak about democracy being under attack, but is this democracy? Whenever you’re removed from office by the civil courts by the opinion of a liberal judge.”
The ruling could set precedent as leftists attempt to punish politicians who took part in the Jan. 6 protest under an obscure provision of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which states that anyone who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution can be barred from office for engaging in insurrection or rebellion. It was last used following the Civil War.
I asked Couy Griffin if he had any response to Judge McFadden suggesting he hadn't lived up to his oath to the Constitution: "Respectfully, I can disagree… I felt like I was standing full well inside of my oath" on Jan. 6. pic.twitter.com/9QN6TYJGaz
— Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) June 17, 2022
Griffin served as his own legal counsel during the two-day proceedings in August. He called the judgment a “total disgrace” that disenfranchises his constituents in Otero County. He also referenced his right to free speech while giving his defense and charged that removing him from office would set a dangerous precedent.
The judge stated that Griffin’s arguments “disregard that the Constitution itself reflects the will of the people.”
Griffin “overlooks that his own insurrectionary conduct on January 6 sought to subvert the results of a free and fair election, which would have disenfranchised millions of voters,” Mathew wrote.
A judge in New Mexico ordered a county commissioner (Couy Griffin of Otero County, NM and founder of "Cowboys for Trump") convicted of participating in the Jan 6 protest removed from office. Do you still think we're voting our way out of this?
— Matthew H (@MattH_4America) September 6, 2022
The original lawsuit against Griffin was filed by three plaintiffs in New Mexico with help from the Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The NAACP and Common Cause filed supportive briefs. A federal court previously declined to take the case.
The controversial judgment is “a historic win for accountability for the January 6th insurrection and the efforts to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power in the United States,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics President Noah Bookbinder proclaimed in a statement.
“This decision makes clear that any current or former public officials who took an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution and then participated in the January 6th insurrection can and will be removed and barred from government service for their actions,” Bookbinder crowed in a press release.
CREW is a nonprofit government watchdog group that represented the plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit to disqualify Griffin.
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