SANTA FE — A New Mexico judge ordered Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin be removed from office, effective immediately, ruling that the attack on the Capitol was an insurrection and that Griffin’s participation in it disqualified him under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. 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.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, also known as the Disqualification Clause, bars any person from holding federal or state office who took an “oath…to support the Constitution of the United States” as an “officer of any State” and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” or gave “aid or comfort” to insurrectionists. Griffin, as an Otero County Commissioner since January 2019, took an oath to “support and uphold the Constitution and laws of the State of New Mexico, and the Constitution of the United States.”
“This 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. Protecting American democracy means ensuring those who violate their oaths to the Constitution are held responsible,” said CREW President Noah Bookbinder. “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.”
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico state district court judge has disqualified county commissioner and Cowboys for Trump cofounder Couy Griffin from holding public office for engaging in insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Griffin was previously convicted in federal court of a misdemeanor for entering Capitol grounds on Jan. 6. He was sentenced to 14 days and given credit for time served.
“Mr. Griffin aided the insurrection even though he did not personally engage in violence,” Mathew wrote. “By joining the mob and trespassing on restricted Capitol grounds, Mr. Griffin contributed to delaying Congress’s election-certification proceedings.”
“The irony of Mr. Griffin’s argument that this Court should refrain from applying the law and consider the will of the people in District Two of Otero County who retained him as a county commissioner against a recall effort as he attempts to defend his participation in an insurrection by a mob whose goal, by his own admission, was to set aside the results of a free, fair and lawful election by a majority of the people of the entire country (the will of the people) has not escaped this Court,” Mathew wrote.
“I’m shocked. Just shocked,” Griffin said. “I really did not feel like the state was going to move on me in such a way. I don’t know where I go from here.”
The order barring Griffin from office was released by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Mathew wrote that Griffin’s attempts “to sanitize his actions are without merit” and “amounted to nothing more than attempting to put lipstick on a pig.”