On January 6, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by a fired New Mexico official

The Supreme Court on Monday denied an appeal by a former New Mexico county commissioner who was removed from office for participating in the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.

In September 2022, Cowboys for Trump founder Cooey Griffin became the first elected official to be removed from office in connection with the January 6 attack, due to the 14th Amendment's sedition clause, which designates a person not holding office. “Must have been engaged in rebellion or insurrection” against the government.

A New Mexico state district court found that Griffin, an Otero County commissioner, was disqualified from office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which was created to prevent ex-Confederates from returning to power after the Civil War. The Supreme Court's decision not to hear Griffin's appeal affirms the lower court's opinion and will remove him from office.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Griffin's lawyer, Peter Dickin, said Griffin and his legal team are looking for ways to return to court in New Mexico and re-litigate the decision.

To appeal the decision to remove him from office, Griffin used legal arguments similar to those used by former President Donald Trump in his own case, challenging a Colorado court's ruling that barred him from the state's primary vote over his actions at the Supreme Court. January 6.

In the Trump case, the Supreme Court ruled this month that under the sedition rule, the former president or other candidates cannot be prevented from appearing on the ballot for federal office. , “they have no power under the Constitution to exercise Article 3 in respect of federal offices, particularly the office of the President.”

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The justices, who rejected Griffin's appeal on Monday, clarified that different rules apply to state and local candidates than those seeking federal office.

Griffin, also a pastor, gained national notoriety for owning horse-drawn carriages in support of Trump. In March 2022, a federal judge convicted him on January 6 of the prohibited charges. He was sentenced to 14 days in jail and fined $3,000.

At the time of sentencing, District Judge Trevor McFadden told Griffin that as an elected state official, he had taken an oath to uphold the Constitution. “The actions and statements you made then are in tension with that commitment,” the judge said.

Griffin responded that he felt he was upholding his oath to “ensure that our elections are open and legal,” and that he had come to Washington to “stand up and protest quietly” and “represent millions of other Americans.”

Video of the attack shows Griffin and his videographer climbing barricades and barricades, then climbing to the inauguration platform in front of the Capitol and speaking to a rising crowd through a bullhorn for more than an hour.

It was Griffin's trial that forced prosecutors, over a Secret Service objection, to reveal the location of Vice President Mike Pence during the riots to prove that Griffin had entered a restricted area, even if Griffin had not entered the Capitol. McFadden acquitted Griffin of disorderly conduct but convicted him of trespassing into a prohibited building or grounds.

In September 2022, New Mexico District Court Judge Francis Matthews removed Griffin from office, finding that although Griffin's actions were nonviolent, they met the definition of unbecoming conduct. Matthew's decision to remove Griffin from office marked the first time since 1869 that a court had disqualified a public official under the sedition clause of the 14th Amendment.

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Griffin took the Supreme Court's ruling to social media on Monday to ask former President Donald Trump to make Griffin his running mate in 2024.

“I am officially barred by court order from running for any office other than the presidency,” Griffin said. wrote. “I wonder if that's true for the position of vice president?”

The Supreme Court's decision to keep Griffin from public office could hurt other state and local governments' efforts to deport other people who participated in the attack. The lawsuit against Griffin was filed by the same group that led the effort to disqualify Trump from the ballot by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Colorado, Washington.

In a statement, the organization's president, Noah Bookbinder, said that by denying Griffin's appeal, the court “finds that Jan. 6 was an act of sedition, and confirms that states can still use the 14th Amendment's disqualification clause against state officials.”

“Essentially, this decision finds that every decision-making body considering the issue found that January 6th was a rebellion, and that Donald Trump was part of that rebellion,” Bookbinder wrote. “Now states must fulfill their duty under Article 3 to remove from office anyone who violates the oath by taking part in the January 6 uprising.”

Tom Jackman and Spencer S.

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